Comparative Analysis of economic development of West African Countries

Course work on : Development Economics



The Comparative Analysis of economic development of West African Countries: Case study – Nigeria, Ghana and Togo (1945-2000)  USING MADDISON DATA AS A TOOL

  • Your task is to utilize the data set to discuss issues of comparative economic development in the period 1800 to 2010. You may choose any group of countries to investigate and any sub time period (e.g. 1820-1870, 1870-1914, 1919-1938, 1945-2010). There is no set question, and you need to define your own theme.
  • Write a report of not more than 3000 words, but graphical and tabular material may be appended. Maddison’s data set is an Excel spread sheet which allows Figures to be readily constructed.
  • It is likely that you will need to consider at least 3 countries if you take a comparative growth approach, and more if you investigate convergence.
  • Since our major challenge is to consider how and why economic growth experience differs, the countries you choose should illuminate an aspect of comparative economic development.
  • Why this form of assignment?

What the assignment must have

  • Your report

(The Comparative Analysis of economic development of West African Countries: Case study – Nigeria, Ghana and Togo (1945-2000)  USING MADDISON DATA AS A TOOL)


  • Something that reflects your question and the content of the assignment
  • You should show the motivation for your theme and choice of countries.
  • Why are these countries informative for a comparative study?
  • Explain motivation for this case study
  • Then engage with the data set and show how the GDP per capita estimates are used to explore your issues.
  • Most basic give some outline of the development path using GDP per capita
  • Can you explain heterogeneous (i.e. diverse) growth experiences?


How project will be assessed

  • The projects are to be fully referenced and must show a thorough understanding of the topic through references to appropriate literature (e.g. peer-reviewed journal articles).
  • The assignment will be graded according to the motivation for choosing the theme • Why have you chosen this theme • Relevance to development & environment module • Why have you chosen particular countries • E.g. see Bryman, Social Research Methods, chapter 3 ‘research design’, for discussion on comparative studies/case studies
  • How the theme is addressed with the data • i.e. can the question be answered with the data • Has thought be given to issues underpinning the data
  • Critical engagement with how the data was generated • Analysis of the data • Critical understanding of strengths and weaknesses/limitations of data • How was data constructed, is it representative etc •

And the underlying research and engagement with the wider literature

What are we looking for (in general)?

  • Thorough understanding of material from this module: Development and Environment
  • What does that mean?
  • Application of theories and empirical evidence from Development and Environmental Economics literature to real-world environmental problems
  • Can you read (and cite) more broadly?
  • But remember what class you are writing this assignment for



  • Appropriately acknowledges the work of others
  • Proves the sources you are using are reliable
  • thus proving your own (academic) credibility • When to cite? • Direct quotes, Paraphrases, arguments/theories, data/empirics • Anything you take from another person’s work
  • What to cite/read?
  • Books
  • Journal articles
  • International development institutions – World Bank, IMF, UN agencies
  • Grey literature
  • Minimum/maximum references? • Too few readings will lead to a poorly informed piece