Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Research Institute of Industrial Economics

No 1090: Did Africa’s First Choices Matter? Growth Legacies of Leaders at Independence

Christina Mangaard Jørgensen and Christian Bjørnskov ()
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Christina Mangaard Jørgensen: Aarhus University, Postal: Denmark
Christian Bjørnskov: Aarhus University, Postal: Denmark, and Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: We explore the potential effects of the first leaders of Sub-Saharan Africa. We first outline a set of theoretical reasons for why leaders may matter particularly at the critical juncture of African independence and why this influence may be persistent. In an unbalanced panel from 40 African countries observed since independence, we find evidence of strongly persistent effects of the education of African leaders. Only military coups seem able to break the persistent negative influence of this characteristic.

Keywords: Africa; Leaders; Institutions; Development

JEL-codes: O11; O43; O55; P16

53 pages, October 12, 2015

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