Despite recent decades of economic growth, absolute poverty is on the rise in Nigeria, as population increases continue to outpace the reduction in poverty rates. Manufacturing industries, which have the potential to absorb large numbers of workers into better paying jobs, have expanded only very modestly, and most workers remain employed in low productivity sectors … Continue reading What happened to the Factory of West Africa? Episode 1: the view from the present
Everyone knows Otto von Bismarck’s supposed opinion about sausages and laws. Butchers and legislators, however, tend not to display much anguish about the production process. Artisans of historical statistics, in my experience, tend to get embarrassed even amongst themselves at the shortcuts and guesswork necessary to manufacture their product. It didn’t use to be this … Continue reading Making the GDP sausage. Episode 0: Introduction
Yesterday, minding my own business on Twitter, I came across an article that made me, as well as about half of the internet, furious. Someone was wrong on the internet. It turned out that an undergraduate was wrong on the internet, and despite the generally low esteem I hold for Quillette as a publication 1 and the generally acute contempt … Continue reading African-American incomes in mid-century – a quick reply
Economists don’t agree about the economics of dictatorships: some claim that the lack of checks on the executive and the widespread repression of political voice provide an institutional framework encouraging rent-seeking and stifling growth, whereas others think that it is precisely the lack of political accountability to the electorate that allows for economic policies that … Continue reading Pinochet’s inequality miracle
When the French parliament, including colonial representatives, was discussing the framework of a new relationship between French Africa and the metropole, a slight plaintive note could be detected in the contributions of the representatives of Côte d’Ivoire and Gabon. Respectively, these colonies were the largest economies of the federations of French West Africa (Afrique occidentale … Continue reading How unequal was the federation of French West Africa?