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The growth literature has had problems explaining the "Sub-Saharan African growth dummy" in cross-country regressions. Instead of taking the usual approach of focusing on long-run growth and assuming that sub-Saharan countries have homogenous parameters in growth regressions, the author concentrates the analysis on episodes of growth turnarounds (identifying growth accelerations, decelerations, and collapses) and uses only West African countries in the sample. The driving force of growth turnarounds are estimated by analyzing external shocks, political and institutional changes, economic reforms, and indicators particularly relevant to the region.
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