Working Paper No. 1090

Did Africa’s First Choices Matter? Growth Legacies of Leaders at Independence

Published: October 12, 2015Pages: 53Keywords: Africa; Leaders; Institutions; DevelopmentJEL-codes: O11; O43; O55; P16

Did Africa’s First Choices Matter? Growth Legacies of Leaders at Independence Christina Mangaard Jørgensen and Christian Bjørnskov


We explore the potential effects of the first leaders of Sub-Saharan Africa. We first outline a set of theoretical reasons for why leaders may matter particularly at the critical juncture of African independence and why this influence may be persistent. In an unbalanced panel from 40 African countries observed since independence, we find evidence of strongly persistent effects of the education of African leaders. Only military coups seem able to break the persistent negative influence of this characteristic.

Christian Bjørnskov

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An Agenda for Europe

Institutional Reform for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

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The authors of this book, Niklas Elert, Magnus Henrekson and Mikael Stenkula, advise the economies of the European Union to become more entrepreneurial in promoting innovation and economic growth. The authors propose a reform strategy with respect to several aspects to achieve this goal.

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