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Africa has not suffered a chronic failure of growth. In fact, Africa has experienced recurring periods of growth, and this paper reviews some of these growth “spurts” to substantiate that claim. The immediate cause of low income in Africa is that these “spurts” have always been followed by a...
The paper analyzes the process of colonial state formation on Java during the nineteenth century. It argues that this was characterized by a succession of experiments aimed at increasing export production and raising taxes from the indigenous population. These experiments were shaped by the...
In a recent paper for the Journal of African History, A.G. Hopkins writes that economists have spent the last decade writing a “new” economic history of Africa that has escaped the notice of historians. He labels the “ethnolinguistic fractionalization” and “reversal of fortune” theses as this...
Fiscal decentralization has been a major theme in development policy in Sub-Saharan Africa since the 1980s. However, the hopes that decentralization will lead to greater accountability have often been disappointed. This paper uses evidence on the devolution of tax collection in British colonial...
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