DP7745 Growth, History, or Institutions? What Explains State Fragility in Sub-Saharan Africa

Author(s): Graziella Bertocchi, Andrea Guerzoni
Publication Date: March 2010
Keyword(s): Africa, colonial history, institutions, State fragility
JEL(s): H11, N17, O43
Programme Areas: International Macroeconomics, Public Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=7745

We explore the determinants of state fragility in sub-Saharan Africa. Controlling for a wide range of economic, demographic, geographic and institutional regressors, we find that institutions, and in particular the civil liberties index and the number of revolutions, are the main determinants of fragility, even taking into account their potential endogeneity. Economic factors such as income growth and investment display a non robust impact after controlling for omitted variables and reverse causality. Colonial variables reflecting the history of the region display a marginal impact on fragility once institutions are accounted for.