PB 14/41 - Productivity, Jobs, And Growth In Africa: Six Pieces Of The Puzzle

Vijaya Ramachandran

Date of Publication: 
December 2014

A number of academic studies have analysed the economic impact of China on Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in general. With a few notable exceptions these have given limited attention to the effects of China on manufacturing in SSA, partly reflecting the perception that the main economic impacts on the region are on primary commodities.

African countries have undergone significant macroeconomic reforms since the late 1980s. Why have these reforms not resulted in more jobs in the formal sector? Why have we not seen more growth in the private sector? In this paper, six charts are presented that describe the situation with regard to employment and growth in the formal sector, and conclude with some possible explanations for what we observe in Africa.

The text accompanying each chart is excerpted from three recent working papers—two of these, on labor costs and productivity, are coauthored with Alan Gelb and Christian Meyer (2013, 2014) and the third, on job creation, is coauthored with Leonardo Iacovone and Martin Schmidt (2013).

View Policy Brief: DPRU PB 14/41