Semester

Summer

Date of Graduation

2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Type

PhD

College

College of Business and Economics

Department

Economics

Committee Chair

Shuichiro Nishioka

Committee Co-Chair

Ronald Balvers

Committee Member

Arabinda Basistha

Committee Member

Walker Todd

Committee Member

Andrew Young

Abstract

This dissertation focuses on the issues of economic performances in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). It includes three essays on the monetary system, the international trade and property rights.;The first chapter discusses the inflation dynamics across different exchange rate regime groups in SSA. In particular, a comparative analysis is conducted between the CFA franc currency union countries and the non-members of SSA to see whether the CFA franc countries exhibit lower inflation in the short and the long run compared to other countries. This chapter also assesses the money supply growth, output growth and money velocity growth as the sources of inflation in the region. The empirical results support the inflation- growth trade-off in the CFA zones. While the CFA countries experience relatively lower inflation in the short and the long run, they suffer from a pronounced output loss relative to all other non-CFA countries in general and relative to the pegged non-CFA countries in particular.;The second chapter analyses the implications of the Heckscher-Ohlin (HO) theory of factor abundance and the increasing return to scale (IRS) theory of product differentiation in the bilateral trade within SSA. It shows that the similarity of the factors of production proportions and the lack of product differentiation reduce the extent of trade between African countries. Trade policies that are aimed to promote trade within the region (i.e., FTA, custom unions) are likely to fail because SSA countries produce similar homogeneous products. The key factor for economic success from international trade for the SSA region relies on how to manufacture products in different varieties and how to export their comparative advantage goods outside the region.;The last chapter identifies the effects of property rights on the total factor productivity (TFP) across different property rights levels and income groups in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). I subdivide SSA countries by their property rights score and by their income levels. Then, I estimate a model in which TFP depends on human capital and institutional qualities. The results mainly show that private property rights have a positive and statistically significant effect on the TFP in SSA. This result indicates that private property rights are important determinants in the process of economic development. If well-defined and enforced by state laws, private property rights will contribute to growth in SSA.

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