Testing Kaldor’s Growth Laws Across the Countries of Africa.

Wells, Heather and Thirlwall, Anthony P. (2003) Testing Kaldor’s Growth Laws Across the Countries of Africa. African Development Review, 15 (2-3). pp. 89-105. ISSN 1017-6772 . (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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One of the strong factors reflecting Africa's economic backwardness is the low level of industrial development. Not only does the industrialization process appear to have bypassed the continent, there is evidence of de-industrialization in the case of several countries. This paper seeks to address a set of interrelated questions: To what extent is the growth performance of African economies related to these structural characteristics? More precisely, is there any discernible evidence that GDP growth and overall labour productivity growth of African countries is positively related to how fast their industrial sector is growing? We test out Kaldor's three growth laws: first, that the growth of GDP is positively related to the growth of manufacturing output not simply in a definitional sense (because manufacturing output is a part of GDP) but in a fundamental causal sense related to the production characteristics of manufacturing activity; secondly, that the growth of labour productivity in manufacturing is positively related to manufacturing output growth because of static and dynamic increasing returns to scale (Verdoorn's Law); and thirdly, that there will be a negative relation between labour productivity growth in the economy as a whole and the rate of growth of employment in the non-manufacturing sector because most activity outside the manufacturing sector is subject to diminishing returns, particularly in land-based activities such as agriculture and many service activities. The authors' conclusions are that there is some empirical support for Kaldor's growth laws in respect of the countries of Africa. The growth of GDP seems much more closely associated with the growth of the manufacturing/industrial sector than the agricultural or service sectors. Structural change in favour of industrial activities would almost certainly help to accelerate the growth of GDP and living standards in Africa.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Economics
Depositing User: Tony Thirlwall
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2008 16:17
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2014 07:55
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/6083 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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