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The Growth Effects of the Bulging Economically Active Population in Sub‐Saharan Africa: Do Institutions Matter?

Isaac Bonuedi, Kofi Kamasa and Elliot Boateng

African Development Review, 2019, vol. 31, issue 1, 71-86

Abstract: This paper examines the importance of good institutions in harnessing the growth effects of the bulging economically active population in sub‐Saharan Africa (SSA). The paper utilizes a panel dataset comprising 39 countries over the period 2002–13. Based on the system generalized method of moments estimator, this paper finds that an increase in the relative size of the working‐age population has no direct significant impact on growth, except through the presence of strong and high‐quality institutions. The paper also finds that control of corruption, rule of law and political stability are the specific aspects of institutions that matter the most in reaping the dividend. These results do not only highlight the primacy of strong institutions but also shed light on the key institutional pillars that need to be strengthened to rake in the positive effects of an increasing working age population on economic growth in SSA.

Date: 2019
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