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Realizing the Demographic Dividend: Is Africa Any Different?

  • 2007
  • Working Paper
Bloom, David E.; Canning, David; Fink, Günther & Finlay, Jocelyn E.

Publisher/Institution: Program on the Global Demography of Aging

Abstract: The goal of this paper is to test whether the determinants of growth in general, and the effects of demography in particular, are different in Africa than for the rest of the world. We show that most Sub-Saharan countries have the potential to reap the benefits of the demographic dividend, but that solid institutional settings will be imperative for its realization. Lee, Lee and Mason (2006) along with Bloom et al. (2003) acknowledge the ineffectiveness of the demographic transition in realizing the demographic dividend when quality institutions are not in place. We refer to institutions as a general term to include rule of law, efficiency of the bureaucracy, corruption, political freedom and expropriation risk, openness (political system, trade barriers, black market premium), freedom of political representation and freedom of speech. Despite this list of measures that we capture in the institutions measure, a broader measure would include infrastructure (health care systems, schooling, roads, transport), and a formal labor market with unions and laws protecting both employees and employers.

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