Justin Lin Yifu

  • This volume is the result of the 2012 International Economic Association's series of roundtables on the theme of Industrial Policy. The first, 'New Thinking on Industrial Policy,' was hosted by the World Bank in Washington, D.C, and the second, 'New Thinking on Industrial Policy: Implications for Africa,' was held in Pretoria, South Africa.

  • For a long time, economic research on Africa was not seen as a profitable venture intellectually or professionally-few researchers in top-ranked institutions around the world chose to become experts in the field. This was understandable: the reputation of Africa-centered economic research was not enhanced by the well-known limitations of economic data across the continent. Moreover, development economics itself was not always fashionable, and the broader discipline
    of economics has had its ups and downs, and has been undergoing a major identity crisis because it failed to predict the Great Recession.

    Times have changed: many leading researchers-including a few Nobel laureates-have taken the subject of Africa and economics seriously enough to devote their expertise and creativity to it. They have been amply rewarded: the richness, complexities, and subtleties of African societies, civilizations, rationalities, and ways of living, have helped renew the humanities and the social sciences-and economics in particular-to the point that the continent has become the next major intellectual frontier
    to researchers from around the world.

    In collecting some of the most authoritative statements about the science of economics and its concepts in the African context, this handbook (the first of two volumes) opens up the diverse acuity of commentary on exciting topics, and in the process challenges and stimulates the quest for knowledge. Wide-ranging in its scope, themes, language, and approaches, this volume explores, examines, and assesses economic thinking on Africa, and Africa's contribution to the discipline. The editors bring
    a set of powerful resources to this endeavor, most notably a team of internationally-renowned economists whose diverse viewpoints are complemented by the perspectives of philosophers, political scientists, and anthropologists. The set of analyses and reflections presented here try to endow each
    subject with depth and discovery.

  • A popular myth about the travails of Africa holds that the continent's long history of poor economic performance reflects the inability of its leaders and policymakers to fulfill the long list of preconditions to be met before sustained growth can be achieved. These conditions are said to vary from the necessary quantity and quality of physical and human capital to the appropriate institutions and business environments. While intellectually charming and often
    elegantly formulated, that conventional wisdom is actually contradicted by historical evidence and common sense. It also suggests a form of intellectual mimicry that posits a unique path to prosperity for all countries regardless of their level of development and economic structure.

    In fact, the argument underlining that reasoning is tautological, and the policy prescriptions derived from it are fatally teleological: low-income countries are by definition those where such ingredients are missing. None of today's high-income countries started its growth process with the <"required>" and complete list of growth ingredients. Unless one truly believes that the continent of Africa-and most developing countries-are ruled predominantly if not exclusively by
    plutocrats with a high propensity for sadomasochism, the conventional view must be re-examined, debated, and questioned.

    This volume-the second of the Oxford Handbook of Africa and Economics-aims at reassessing the economic policies and practices observed across the continent since independence. It offers a collection of analyses by some of the leading economists and development thinkers of our time, and reflects a wide range of perspectives and viewpoints-even on the same topic. Africa's emergence as a potential economic powerhouse in the years and decades ahead amply justifies the scope and ambition of
    the book.

  • This volume is the result of the 2012 International Economic Association's series of roundtables on the theme of Industrial Policy. The first, 'New Thinking on Industrial Policy,' was hosted by the World Bank in Washington, D.C, and the second, 'New Thinking on Industrial Policy: Implications for Africa,' was held in Pretoria, South Africa.

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