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Income polarization and innovation in African economies

This paper examines the polarization of economic development in African economies. Based on nonparametric and bipolarization frameworks, we find that countries tend to cluster in two classes, and that bipolarization has been accelerating over the period 1966-2008. We relate the evolution of income bipolarization to specialization in a country. The main sectors that tend to reduce income bipolarization are mining and services. We also study the effects of innovation on income polarization. In particular, we analyze short-run and long-run effects of innovation and their inter relationship with income polarization. We show that the impact of innovation differs depending on its origin and its type. If innovation is resident, then trademarks outweigh patents.

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