HUNTING FOR LEOPARDS: LONG-TERM COUNTRY INCOME DYNAMICS IN AFRICA
Conducting country-level dynamics of long-term growth is crucial if we are to understand the upward mobility of African economies from low towards middle-income status. How does the growth trajectory differ among African countries? In particular, which countries have transitioned into ‘leopards’, the regional equivalent of the Asian ‘tigers’ ? And, what can we learn from these countries? Arbache and Page (this volume) provide some answers. Among their findings are:
- • Growth has been low and quite volatile across Africa; however, this finding is not restricted to any specific economic or geographic attributes.
- • Growth has accelerated since the mid-1990s, with an increasing number of countries experiencing more frequent growth accelerations.
- • There is some evidence of incipient convergence of growth rates, but not of incomes; the latter finding indicates significant country-level inertia.
- • Indeed, the cross-country distribution of income is becoming less equal; although the poor countries have been growing faster more recently, the rich countries are growing even faster, with the consequence that income clubs by country are becoming increasingly distinct.
- • Only a small number of countries seem to be emerging as possible leopards, but there is uncertainty about their durability, and most of these are resource- rich economies.