Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Working Paper - International Association for Research in Income and Wealth
Title An African growth miracle? Or: what do asset indices tell us about trends in economic performance?
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
URL http://www.iariw.org/papers/2011/harttgenpaper.pdf
Abstract
Using changes in the possession of household assets over the past 20 years, several recent papers have argued that economic performance in Africa was better than suggested by national income data and income poverty statistics. We scrutinize these claims and first argue that trends in assets are only biased proxies for trends in incomes. In particular we show that the relationship between growth in assets and growth in incomes is extremely weak; instead, we find evidence of asset drift using macro and micro data which is consistent with the claims we make about possible biases in the use of asset indices. As a result, we find no evidence supporting the claim of an African growth miracle.

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