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Untangling the Quality of Governance from the Level of Income: Are Sub-Saharan African Countries Governed Differently?

Erich Gundlach () and Susanne Hartmann

The European Journal of Development Research, 2007, vol. 19, issue 4, 503-528

Abstract: This paper considers the argument about whether Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries are mainly poor because they are governed worse than other countries, as suggested by recent studies on the leading role of institutions. Our empirical results show that the supremacy of institutions does not hold: SSA countries appear to face specific development problems in addition to weak institutions. Given their geographic and economic constraints, we conclude that SSA countries are on average no worse governed than other comparable countries. Our finding supports the basic argument of the UN Millennium Project report (2005). Cet article analyse l'hypothèse selon laquelle les pays d'Afrique subsaharienne (ASS) seraient plus pauvres parce qu'ils sont plus mal gouvernés que d'autres comme le suggèrent des études récentes portant sur la suprématie des institutions. Nos résultats empiriques montrent que l'argument de la suprématie des institutions ne tient pas. Au-delà des problèmes liés à des institutions faibles, les pays d'ASS semblent rencontrer des problèmes de développement spécifiques. Etant donné leurs contraintes géographiques et économiques, nous concluons que les pays d'ASS, en moyenne, ne sont pas plus mal gouvernés que d'autres pays comparables. Nos résultats vont dans le même sens qu'un rapport récent des Nations Unies (UN Millennium Project 2005).

Date: 2007
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