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The effects of fragility and financial inequalities on inclusive growth in African countries

Babajide Fowowe and Oludele Folarin ()

Review of Development Economics, 2019, vol. 23, issue 3, 1141-1176

Abstract: Africa has the largest number and proportion of fragile states in the world. Fragile states are characterized by slower economic growth, higher incidences of poverty, and persistent inequality. Thus, there is a circular relationship between fragility, inequality, and slow economic growth. This study examines the relationship between fragility, financial inequalities, and inclusive growth in African countries. We introduce a novel way of examining inclusive growth in African countries by developing a unified measure of inclusive growth that captures the two dimensions of inclusive growth: income growth and income distribution. This enables us to adequately assess not just increased opportunities arising from economic growth, but also see how those new opportunities are distributed across all segments of the population. We captured the fragile status of African countries by using an index of fragility. We measured financial inequalities using new data on financial inclusion. The data analysis suggested negative relationships between fragility and inclusive growth in African countries. In addition, the results suggest positive relationships between financial inclusion and inclusive growth. Thus, inclusive growth can be fostered through policies that reduce financial inequalities. Therefore, a less fragile environment is conducive to inclusive growth both directly and indirectly through financial inclusion.

Date: 2019
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