Researching the politics of development



Political settlements, the deals environment and economic growth: The case of Ghana

Working paper 53

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Robert Darko Osei, Charles Ackah, George Domfe and Michael Danquah
The paper explores the extent to which political settlements, and consequently the deals environment, have influenced the growth and development outcomes for Ghana. This is done using a conceptual framework which tries to demonstrate how political settlements and the deals environment help explain sustained economic growth. Some of the key findings are summarised as follows. First, the paper notes that political settlements in Ghana have been largely personalised over the years, with electoral competition becoming a feature of the last two decades. Second, it notes that the product space for Ghana has remained largely unchanged over the years, reinforcing the argument that growth has not been structurally transformative. Third, it argues that the deals space in Ghana is largely a product of the nature of the political settlement and this in turn has contributed to growth without structural transformation of the economy. The paper concludes by noting that Ghana finds itself in a position where change to its deals space, in a way that promotes sustained accelerated growth, will be difficult.