In this paper we address the question whether countries on the African continent have lower average growth rates in real GDP per capita than countries in Asia and Latin America. In contrast to previous studies, we do not aggregate the data, nor do we a priori assign countries to clusters. Instead, we put forward a so-called latent class panel time series model, which allows a data-based classification of countries to clusters with growth levels that differ across the clusters. Our empirical results suggest that twenty-six African countries can be assigned to the low growth cluster, but that eleven African countries show growth levels which are comparable with many countries in Asia and Latin America. We also present results for sub-periods, which demonstrate that the relative performance of African countries has improved considerably over time.

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Econometric Institute Research Papers
Erasmus School of Economics

Paap, R., Franses, P. H., & van Dijk, D. (2003). Does Africa grow slower than Asia and Latin America? (No. EI 2003-07). Econometric Institute Research Papers. Retrieved from