The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. With nearly 300 released each year, working papers cover a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
With the exception of Burkina Faso and Mali, the growth experience for WAEMU countries has been disappointing, even when compared to other sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. The main objective of the paper is to investigate why the quest for a growth takeoff has been more elusive in the WAEMU countries compared to other SSA countries. To do this, the paper focuses on the determinants of growth accelerations and decelerations in SSA and the WAEMU. It finds that the variables most closely associated with growth accelerations and decelerations in SSA are changes in terms of trade, private investment, civil tension, real exchange rates, and inflation. Second, as found elsewhere in the literature, there is a certain asymmetry between accelerations and decelerations, in both frequency and determinants, and that the WAEMU region is quite different from the rest of SSA.