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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Income Inequality, Economic Growth, and Political Instability in Sub-Saharan Africa
Author:Nel, Philip
Year:2003
Periodical:Journal of Modern African Studies
Volume:41
Issue:4
Period:December
Pages:611-639
Language:English
Geographic term:Subsaharan Africa
Subjects:political stability
political economy
economic development
income distribution
Economics and Trade
Politics and Government
Link:http://ejournals.ebsco.com/direct.asp?ArticleID=EYCKWJ6C72THLTH880N2
Abstract:There is much disagreement about the effect that income distribution has on economic growth. This study uses household-expenditure-based data to estimate this effect for a sample of sub-Saharan African States. It uses an ordinary least squares (OLS) technique to estimate the effects of income inequality in a standard reduced-form growth regression for a set of cross-section data for the period 1986-1997. It finds that higher levels of inequality seem to impinge negatively on growth prospects over the medium term, but that this effect is weak and that the finding of a negative relationship is not robust. It then tests whether this negative consequence of inequality for growth is attributable to inequality's effect on political instability, as the literature suggests. The evidence indicates that high levels of inequality do not affect political instability in any statistically significant manner for the countries in the sample, but that they do negatively affect the risk perceptions of potential investors, and so may contribute to lower growth prospects. App., bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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