Week 3: The structural adjustment era
As background for this week, you may enjoy the paper by Ajayi (1982) "Expectations of Independence" but this is not required.
Tuesday February 6: Read Fosu (2008) "Anti-Growth Syndromes in Africa: A Synthesis of the Case Studies" and Bates (2008) "Domestic Interests and Control Regimes". in Ndulu et al., The Political Economy of Economic Growth in Africa, 1960-2000). These chapters describe policy patterns that were prevalent in SSA during the 1970s and 1980s.
1/ What anti-growth policy patterns ("syndromes") does Fosu identify, and how prevalent were they in Africa between 1960 and 2000? (For a list of policy episodes and growth syndromes by country, see Table 9.A1 in the Ndulu et al. book, page 339-344.)
2/ Control regimes, in particular, were characterized by heavy government intervention in the price system, often backed by Marxist or socialist politics. Examples included interest-rate ceilings and fixed exchange rates. What motivated such controls? Why did price controls tend to lead to rationing schemes and other direct controls on allowed transactions? Why did economists view control regimes as anti-growth?
Thursday February 8: Skim Moss's chapter on personal rule in Africa, and then read Collier (1991) "Africa's External Relations, 1960-1990." Collier's concept of agencies of restraint was extremely influential in the 1990s and early 2000s. Remember that he was writing before the wave of multi-party elections that started in Africa during the early 1990s.
1/ What does Collier mean by an agency of restraint? Who or what is being restrained, what actions are being restrained, and how is the restraint accomplished? Give examples of agencies of restraint.
2/ During the structural adjustment era, aid donors (both multilateral organizations like the World Bank, and bilateral donors like France or the USA) often required African governments to promise particular policy reforms in order to receive aid. Conditionality of this type makes the donor into an agency of restraint. Why
does Collier object to this?