موانع سازمانی برای توسعه اقتصادی آفریقا : دولت، قومیت و آداب
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|6961||2009||21 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||20599 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Volume 71, Issue 3, September 2009, Pages 669–689
To account for the African growth tragedy and, in particular, for its causes rooted in governance problems, the institutional legacy that African countries inherited from pre-colonial and colonial times must be considered. Three aspects are examined here. First, the relationship between ethnicity and state performance is bi-directional: if strong ethno-regional identities prevent the emergence of modern citizenship, they themselves constitute an endogenous outcome of continuous state failures. Second, the persistence of informal rules and social norms causes legal dualism, which undermines the credibility of modern statutory law. Third, social customs and norms that hinder socio-economic differentiation and individual capital accumulation lower the performance of indigenous enterprises.
A well-known and troubling feature of economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) since the end of the second World War is the divergence of African incomes from those obtained elsewhere the southern hemisphere. Noting the statistically significant and negative effect of the African dummy in their cross-country growth regressions, Easterly and Levine (1997) have talked about a “growth tragedy” to characterize the long-term economic performances of the African region. In actual fact, average real income per capita for SSA as a whole barely increased between 1960 and 2000, an outcome largely resulting from the dismal performance of African economies during the 20-year period from roughly 1974 to 1994. As evident from the World Bank's Tables, a negative annual average rate of growth of income per head prevailed during the latter period whereas a very low average positive rate of less than 0.5 percent was observed during the subsequent years, until the beginning of this century.1 It is, therefore, no exaggeration to say that African populations “missed out on the unprecedented economic transformation that took place in the rest of the developing world after 1950” (Ndulu and O’Connell, 2008, 17). In accounting for the African growth tragedy, it is tempting to cite the geographic isolation of many countries in the region: more than a third of its population lives in countries that are both landlocked and poorly endowed with natural resources, as against a mere one percent for the other developing regions, where areas with unpromising opportunities have seldom become countries (Collier and O’Connell, 2008, 84). This explanation does not stand up to scrutiny, however: many of the worst performing African countries turn out to have abundant natural resources, whether oil, natural gas, diamond, or mineral resources (e.g., the Republic of Congo ex-Zaïre, Nigeria, Angola, Sierra Leone). Moreover, another third of the African population lives in these resource-rich countries. In fact, there is growing agreement that inefficiencies in African economies, and the consequently low returns on investment and aid projects, result from an impressive array of governance failures. It is especially worrying that, in contrast to measures of policy and political institutions, measures of the institutional environment showed no tendency to improvement in SSA during the 1990s. Worse, a number of indicators such as the ICRG indexes of government corruption, the rule of law, and the quality of the government bureaucracy suggest a deterioration, both in absolute terms and relative to other developing regions (Ndulu and O’Connell, 2008, 55–56). It is thus revealing that all the “anti-growth syndromes” singled out by the Africa Growth Project, the first comprehensive assessment by African research economists of the growth experience of SSA in the post-independence period, have their origin, to a significant extent, in serious governance problems. These syndromes are (i) regulatory regimes that severely distort productive activity and reward rent-seeking, (ii) regimes of ethno-regional redistribution that compromise efficiency through resource transfers to sub-national political interests, (iii) regimes of intertemporal redistribution that transfer resources from the future to the present, and (iv) state breakdown, which refers to civil war or marked political instability (Collier and O’Connell, 2008, 89–96; Fosu, 2008). The picture that emerges is one in which SSA suffers not only from physical remoteness, but also from the so-called natural resource curse and varied sorts of rent-seeking, corruption, and subversion of political choices by ethno-regional forces (Collier et al., 2008a and Collier et al., 2008b). The central question addressed in this paper is the following: to what extent do the governance problems of SSA have something to do with the institutional legacy of the region? Africa's bad performance on the level of its institutional environment must be somehow traceable to non-geographic factors specific to the region. The particular history of the continent, which includes the colonial experience and the manner in which its institutional environment has been shaped over the longer period, must take us some way towards gaining a better understanding of the present Africa's growth tragedy. The paper comprises three central sections. Section 2 starts with the widely accepted idea that failure of the state accounts for much of Africa's difficulty to respond effectively to the challenge of modern economic growth. The question of whether such a failure has a cultural origin is specifically addressed. In particular, is it true that in SSA ethno-regional identity rooted in a deeply entrenched culture has prevented the emergence of modern citizenship and the bureaucratic (Weberian) state, or has the former been an endogenous outcome of continuous state failures that themselves need to be elucidated? In Section 3, attention is drawn to the persistence of informal norms and institutions, and the discrepancy between them and the modern law system. The consequences of this ‘legal dualism’ are explored, along with the possible role of religion as a bridge between tradition and modernity. In Section 4, another aspect of Africa's ill-fated development is considered: the lack or low performances of indigenous enterprises. Again, an exploration into the possible cultural roots of this phenomenon is attempted. More specifically, to what extent do social customs and norms that stress collective well-being and traditional order based on status ranking hinder socio-economic differentiation and private capital accumulation? The role of religion will again receive special attention. In concluding the paper, Section 5 attempts a contrast between Africa and Asia. It is argued that in SSA institutional and cultural traits such as ethnicity, kinship, redistributive norms, magical beliefs, and distrust of centralized state agencies tend to be reproduced over time and remain resistant to fundamental reshaping under conditions of decolonization and political liberalization. Since ethnicity/kinship is perhaps the single most important factor in the above list (bear in mind that redistributive norms operate only within a kinship network), the analysis proposed in this paper appears to go against the tide of recent econometric studies according to which ethnicity ceases to influence the probability of conflict and violence once material determinants such as per capita income, access to raw materials, and the like are duly controlled for (Fearon and Laitin, 2003 and Collier and Hoeffler, 2004). These works nonetheless suffer from a serious flaw inasmuch as they rely on a highly unsatisfactory measure of ethnicity, the so-called ethno-linguistic fractionalization index (ELF). Leaving aside the fact that a single index is under-equipped to capture the multidimensional quality of ethnic identities and that nationwide measures fail to capture variations occurring at the sub-national level,2 a fatal weakness of the ELF is that it treats violence as random and is generated in a completely bottom-up fashion. It is therefore silent on the role of the state, and it overlooks the critical fact that violence is organized in most if not all instances of civil wars and conflicts. Cederman and Girardin (2007) have tried to overcome the latter shortcoming by constructing an alternative index, the so-called index of ethno-nationalist exclusion, which introduces state-centric, rather than symmetric, ethnic configurations and postulates group-level, rather than individual-level, micro-mechanisms of mobilization. The underlying hypothesis is that escalation to violence is more likely where the dominant group is a demographic minority. What the authors show is that, using essentially the same sample and the same controls as in the aforementioned studies, their index is highly significant; as such, they cast doubt on the rejection of ethnicity as an explanation of civil conflict. We need to remain cautious, however: as stressed by the two authors, it is actually hard to identify clearly distinct ethnic groups because over time ethnic and national identifications are endogenous to other political processes, including state formation and conflict behavior. As emphasized by (2008a, 133), ethnic conflict involves not a clash of cultures, but rather a struggle over access to resources. This is precisely the perspective adopted in the following analysis, from which a complex picture emerges of self-reinforcing effects along a path-dependent trajectory. In SSA, the state is often perceived as alien to the citizens, and the modern statutory law is not taken seriously if it runs counter to the custom, which is nevertheless evolving under changing circumstances. A universe of personalized relationships remains dominant throughout the region, with its attendant obligations and solidarity ties, yet when faced with the task of accumulating capital and building capitalist firms, African societies do not rely on dense networks of kin relations for the purpose of sharing information and meting out sanctions so as to establish trust and enforce contracts. Here is perhaps one of the most paradoxical aspects of the African institutional fabric for which an explanation will be attempted. The above characterization does not imply that the institutional trajectory of SSA is mechanically determined. As will be illustrated with respect to religion, exogenous factors can bring about changes that disturb the existing dynamic equilibria.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
From the literature dealing with Asia, we have learnt that rent-seeking has been a pervasive feature of practically all Asian countries, including those that have performed best during the last four or five decades. What distinguishes them is not the incidence of rent-seeking as such, but the organization of rent-seeking and the identity of rent seekers. The differences have historical origins going back to colonial times. In particular, the ‘fragmented clientelism’ afflicting the Indian subcontinent (India, Bangladesh and Pakistan), colonized by the British, seems to have been much less conducive to economic growth and efficiency than the pattern of coordinated and centralized patron–client flows found in South Korea and Taiwan, colonized by Japan. While in the former area, there existed decentralized centres of organizational and political power that had the ability to demand or protect redistributive rents effectively, in the latter countries, the central leadership of the state could use a carrot-and-stick strategy to induce learning but also block feather-bedding. As a result, in South Korea and Taiwan the rents of the emerging capitalists were protected only in so far as their use was in conformity with the calculations and interests of the political leadership, whereas in the Indian subcontinent they were guaranteed by independent political factions purchased by these capitalists and unconcerned with the productive use of the rents (Khan, 2000, 91–98; Kohli, 2004). Southeast Asian countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Singapore, stand somewhere in between these two forms of clientelism (Studwell, 2007). In SSA, the rent-seeking process looks more like the fragmented clientelism of the Indian subcontinent than the more centralized patronage observed in South Korea and Taiwan. In fact, most African countries seem to suffer from the disadvantages of fragmented clientelism to an even more serious extent than do India, Pakistan and Bangladesh because centrifugal tendencies born of ethno-regionalism are especially strong in a continent with weak political institutions and incipient states. Where ancient African kingdoms existed, their boundaries were not coterminous with those of the independent states that Africans inherited at the end of the colonial period. This lack of correspondence prevented the consolidation of these ancient structures into modern states. It also gave rise to severe political and social conflicts at the time of independence (Coquery-Vidrovitch, 1985, Austen, 1987, Tordoff, 1997 and Herbst, 2000, Chap. 4). That an inclusionary national development project is conspicuously lacking in most African countries follows from the above conditions of ethnic nationalism: the political elite have not fulfilled the popular expectations aroused by the nationalist leaders in the run up to independence (Fage and Tordoff, 1995). While in India, for example, the problem was not the absence of a national industrial policy but the inability of the central leadership in charge of its elaboration and implementation to discipline poor performers and reallocate resources rationally due to the political opposition of powerful excluded groups, in SSA there is typically no centrally defined industrial policy or development strategy. This deficiency is reflected in the high dependence vis-à-vis foreign aid that African countries have learned to live with. The problem of low capital accumulation is further compounded by the tendency of African elites to spend their rental incomes largely on lavish consumption rather than investing them in productive sectors with high monopoly rents or put their savings in foreign bank accounts or assets rather than at home. The spread of universal religions with a powerful God as figurehead may hold in check the forces that undermine the accumulation of productive capital in SSA. Their beneficial effects may be felt at two distinct levels. First, by nurturing feelings of loyalty and identity towards a large reference group that exceeds ethnic boundaries, they may gradually help to establish the basis for a generalized morality and a civic polity backed by pan-lineage and pan-ethnic institutions. Second, by instilling values and norms that violate customs with adverse effects on capital accumulation and entrepreneurship, they contribute to behavioral changes that encourage economic growth. In particular, they provide a formidable shelter against redistributive pressures emanating from kith and kin, and they emphasize values such as frugality, honesty, and hard work that encourage saving, risk-taking and improved contract enforcement and flexibility.35 Religion can produce those effects only in so far as adherence to its tenets is sufficiently genuine and when conversion affects the existing social structure by raising the position of people who occupied low ranks in the previous system. In many areas of West Africa, old kinship-based organizations and customs have persisted throughout the pre-colonial Islamization period because the commitment to Islam remained superficial and opportunistic. Regarding Islam, the best situation probably obtains when (i) the ideals of universal brotherhood and equality are pursued with enough commitment to undermine ethno-regional identities and redistributive norms, and (ii) sufficient flexibility is allowed to circumvent the main growth-limiting Islamic rules, particularly those concerning inheritance. In spite of what has just been said, the recent flowering of pentecostal churches and other revivalist movements born outside the ambit of established churches is not necessarily a welcome change for Africa. It might just reflect the ability of unscrupulous and cynical entrepreneurs posing as inspired preachers or prophets to exploit the gullibility of poor illiterate people who are especially vulnerable to charismatic leadership in times of prolonged economic and political crisis. Far from the ascetic morality that characterized mainline churches a few decades earlier, the new evangelists tend to be people who, by cunning and trickery, have succeeded in becoming immensely rich while deceptively promising to their followers that the same luck is soon going to befall them. Their success has much to do with their professed belief in the active presence of the Holy spirit. Indeed, for people brought up in magical universes inhabited by spirits who are represented as real individual beings and with whom some form of effective communication is possible and essential, this feature offers almost irresistible attraction (Laurent, 2003 and Ellis and Ter Haar, 2004, Chap. 3, 137).