n African Journal of Business and Economic Research - Economic success in sub-Saharan Africa : a new measure of economic complexity

Volume 11, Issue 2-3
  • ISSN : 1750-4554
  • E-ISSN: 1750-4562


In popular discourse, African countries are typically lumped together and there is little understanding about the large differences in economic complexity between them. This paper seeks to fill in that gap by creating an economic complexity index, which is a tool that can be used to help gauge the relative successes or failures of each African country's business environment. The tool is based on the Herfindahl index, which is a widely used measure of industry concentration in the economics literature that has been adapted for this use. Potential uses of the complexity index in future research include tracking economic development over time, creating an alternative measure of economic success besides GDP growth and examining correlations with business environment variables to find out which ones most influence economic development across industries.

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