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Empirical evidence of economic bipolarization in Africa

Abstract and Figures

This paper examines the degree of polarization in African countries’ per capita GDP distribution between 1966 to 2004. We first use a nonparametric analysis and find that the countries tend to cluster in two classes of per capita GDP. Secondly, by using the Wolfson’s bipolarization measure, the results reveal that bipolarization has been accelerating during the two first decades and is still growing. We relate the evolution of polarization during the period to the business sectors. We find that the specialization of the countries is the main factor explaining its evolution, namely, in agriculture and industry sectors.

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