Impact of public expenditure on economic growth (1990-2011)

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Impact of public expenditure on economic growth (1990-2011)

ABSTRACT

The objective of this study is to analyze the impact of government expenditure on economic growth in Nigeria. Because of the complex link between governments spending and economic growth, both descriptive and econometric analyses are used in the study. The descriptive analysis of the study explores the relationship between government spending and economic growth in Nigeria over the period of the study.  The study also observes that from early 1970s, oil revenue became the major source of revenue earnings for the government, and government expenditure fluctuates in response to fluctuations in crude oil earnings.

Government expenditure and economic growth also fluctuate in line with the earnings from crude oil. The study uses econometric analysis to examine the impact of the various components of government expenditure (consumption expenditure, government investment, government investment on human capital) including other control variables like capital stock, labour force, and private investment from 1970 – 2010 using vector error correction (VEC) model of regression analysis. The results show that consumption expenditure depresses economic growth while government investment and private investment t stimulate economic growth. While the remaining three variables (government investment in human capital, capital stock and labour force exert insignificant impact on economic growth. The results show that the coefficients of GIt-1 and GIt-2 are 4.317 and 6.125, respectively and that of private investment (PIt-1 and Pit-2) are 5.224 and 4.219. The goodness of fit, indicated by adjusted R-Square is over 91 percent, while F-statistic is 22.86.  The study recommends that government investment spending should be judged based on social cost and benefit; that public investment should be made to enhance private investment activities; and that competent and qualified personnel should be attracted into the public service for effective and efficient execution of government development programmes.

 

 

 

 

 

KEYWORDS: GOVERNMENT EXPENDITURE, ECONOMIC GROWTH

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

                                                                                                          Page

Title Page                                                                                                  i

Approval                                                                                                    iii

Certification                                                                                               iv

Dedication                                                                                                 v

Acknowledgement                                                                                   vi

Abstract                                                                                                     vii

Table of Contents                                                                                    viii

List of Tables                                                                                            ix

List of Figures                                                                                           ix

 

CHAPTER ONE

1.1       Background to the Study                                                               1

1.2       Statement of the Problem                                                              3

1.3       Research Questions                                                                      6

1.4       Statement of Research Objectives                                                        6

1.5       Significance of the Study                                                               7

1.6       Statement of Research Hypothesis                                             10

1.7       Scope and Limitations of the Study                                              11

1.8       Definition of Terms                                                                         13

CHAPTER two

2.0    Introduction                                                                                     18

2.1       Theories of Economic Growth                                                      19

2.1.1 Factors Determining Economic Growth                                       19

2.1.2 Patterns of Growth                                                                         29

2.2       The Nature and Constituents of Government Expenditure                 32

2.3       Public Expenditure Growth                                                            38

2.4       The Impact of Government Spending on Economic Growth     45

2.5.1 Government Spending and Economic Growth in Nigeria          54

2.5.2 Trends in Total Government         Expenditure and GDP in Nigeria  56

2.6    Structure of Government Expenditure                                         69

2.7       Functional Sectorial Classification                                                         76

2.8    Empirical Literature                                                                         83

2.9    Theoretical Framework                                                                            99

 

CHAPTER THREE

3.1    Research Design                                                                                105

3.2    Model Specification                                                                  105

3.3    Estimation Procedure                                                               107

3.4    Data Discussions                                                                      118

3.5    Sources of Data                                                                        120

 

CHAPTER FOUR

4.0    PRESENTATION OF RESULTS AND ANALYSIS

4.1    PRESENTATION OF RESULTS 

4.2    INTERPRETATION OF RESULTS       

4.3    TEST OF HYPOTHESIS

4.3.1 EXPLANATION

CHAPTER FIVE

DISCUSSION OF RESULTS       

5.0    INTRODUCTION                 

5.1    DISCUSSION OF RESULTS       

 

CHAPTER SIX

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

6.0    INTRODUCTION        

6.1    SUMMARY OF MAJOR FINDINGS

6.2    CONCLUSIONS         

6.3    RECOMMENDATIONS       

6.4    AREA FOR FURTHER STUDIES         

REFERENCES 

APPENDICES   


 

LIST OF TABLES

2.5.1 EXPENDITURE AS A PERCENTAGE OF GDP     -        -        59

AND GDP ANNUAL GROWTH RATE

2.5.2 FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SOURCES OF   -        -        -        61

REVENUE (OIL AND NON-OIL REVENUE)

2.6.1 GOVERNMENT RECURRENT AND CAPITAL       -        -        71

EXPENDITURES AS PERCENTAGES OF TOTAL

2.6.2 GOVERNMENT RECURRENT AND CAPITAL       -        -        72

EXPENDITURES AS PERCENTAGE OF GDP

2.7.1 FUNCTIONAL DISTRIBUTION OF GOVERNMENT        -        -        77 EXPENDITURE

4.1    UNIT ROOT TEST      -        -        -        -        -        -        -       106

4.2    COINTEGRATION TEST     -        -        -        -        -        -       108

4.3    VECTOR ERROR CORRECTION MODEL (VECM),

USING NGDP AS A DEPENDENT VARIABLE                 -        -       109

 

LIST OF FIGURES

2.5.1 TREND IN NOMINAL GDP AND TOTAL        -        -        -        57

GOVERNMENT EXPENDITURE 

 

 

 


 


CHAPTER ONE

1.1    Background to the Study

The relationship between government expenditure and economic growth has continued series of debate among scholars. Keynes (1936) argues that the solution to economic depression is to induce the firms to invest through some combination of reduction in interest rates and government capital investment including infrastructure.

This claim that increasing government expenditure promotes economic growth is not supported by all scholars. A number of prominent authors especially of the neoclassical school argue that increased government expenditure may slow down the aggregate performance of the economy because in an attempt to finance raising expenditure, government may have to increase taxes and or borrowing. The higher income tax may discourage or may be a disincentive to additional work which in turn may reduce income and aggregate demand. In the same manner, high corporate tax leads to increase in production costs and reduce profitability of firms and their capital to incur investment expenditure.  On the other hand, increased government borrowing (from the banks) required to finance its expenditure may compete and crowds-out private sector and this reduce private investment in the economy. Sachs (2006) argues that among the developed countries, those with high rates of taxation and high social welfare spending perform better on most measures of economic performance compared with countries with low tax low rates of taxation and low social services spending. Hayek (1989) however countered this argument saying that high levels of government spending in addition to harming, does not, through social welfare engendered fairness, economic equality and international competitiveness. This argument is in line with Sudha (2007) who points out that countries with large public sectors have grown slowly. Thus, there is no general consensus among scholar on the impact of increasing government expenditure on economic growth.

According to the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission – RMFC (2011) the federal government of Nigeria spends 52.2% of total government revenues. The remaining revenues are shared among the Federating States and Local Government Areas (LGAs) on the basis of detailed sharing formula.

The level of increase of government revenue from oil revenue and non-oil revenues including borrowing from internal and external sources has significantly affected the level of government expenditure in Nigeria over the years under review. For instance, the total recurrent expenditure increased from ₦716.1 million in 1970 to ₦4.8 billion naira in 1980 and further to ₦3.3 trillion in 2010. The government capital expenditure rose from ₦187.8 million in 1970 to ₦10.163 billion in 1980 and further to ₦1.76 trillion in 2010 (CBN, 2010, 2012).

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita of Nigeria expanded by 132% between 1960 and 1969 and rose to a peak growth of 283% between 1970 and 1979 (National Bureau of Statistics – NBS, 2010). The high levels of inflation and unemployment rates resulted in fiscal imbalance between 1979 and 1983 with negative consequences on balance of payment. The level of increase in external loans further accelerated the debt over-hand situation and other problems. The problems were so severe that restructuring of the economy was inevitable. As a result, a comprehensive economic reform programme was introduced in 1986. In the period between 1988 and 1997 – a period of structural adjustment and economic liberalization, the GDP responded to economic adjustment policies and grew at a positive rate of 4% (Onakaya et al, 2013). The real GDP growth shows that on aggregate basis, when measured by the Real Gross Domestic Product (RGDP) grew by 7.8% in 2010 (NBS, 2010; CBN, 1980, 2010, 2012).

The mismatch between the performance of the Nigerian economy and massive increase in government total expenditure over the years raises a critical question on its role in promoting economic growth and development. Some authors contend that the link between public expenditure and economic growth is weak while others report varying degree of causality relationship in Nigeria (Onokaya et al, 2012). The question which arises therefore is what is the relative contribution of capital expenditure and recurrent expenditure on economic growth in Nigeria? This thesis aims at investigating the impact of government expenditure (recurrent expenditure and capital expenditure) on economic growth in Nigeria from 1970 – 2012.

1.2    Statement of the Problem

The relationship between government expenditure and economic growth has continued to generate series of debate among scholars. Government performs two functions – protection (and security) and provision of certain public goods (Abdullahi, 2000; Yousif, 2000; Nurudeen and Usman, 2008). Protection function consists of the creation of rule of law and enforcement of property rights. This helps to minimize risks to criminality, protect life and property and the nation from external aggression, defense, roads, education, health, power and communication to mention but a few.

Some scholars argue that increase in government expenditure on socio-economic and physical structures encourages economic growth. For example, government expenditure on health and education raises the productivity of labour and increase the growth of national output. Similarly, expenditure on infrastructure such as roads, communications, power etc reduces production costs, increases private sector investment and profitability of firms, thus fostering economic growth. Supporting this view, scholars such as Keynes (1936), Ram (1986), Barro (1990), Sachs (2006), Ranjah and Sharma (2008), Cooray (2009) conclude that expansion of government expenditure contributes positively to economic growth.

However, some scholars did not support the claim that increasing government expenditure promotes economic growth, instead they assert that high government expenditure may slow down overall aggregate performance of the economy in that in the bid to finance rising expenditure, government may have to increase taxes and/or borrowing. The higher income tax may discourage or be a disincentive to individual working for long hours or searching for additional work which in turn may reduce income and aggregate demand. In the same way, higher corporate tax (profit tax) tends to increase production costs and reduces the profitability of firms and their capacity to incur investment expenditure. Moreover, if government increases borrowing (especially from the banks) in order to finance its expenditure, it will compete (crowds-out) away the private sector, thus reducing private investment. It was further argued that in a bid to score cheap popularity and ensure that they continue to remain in power, politicians and government officials sometimes increase expenditure and investment in unproductive projects or in goods that the private sector can produce more efficiently. Thus, government activity sometimes produces misallocation of resources and impedes the growth of national output. In fact, the studies by Laudau (1986), Hayek (1989), Henrekson (2001), Mitchell (2005) and Sudha (2007) suggested that large government expenditure has negative impact on economic growth.

In Nigeria, the government expenditure has continued to rise due to receipts from oil revenue (Petroleum profit tax and royalties) and non oil revenue (company income tax, custom and excise duties, value added tax [VAT] and others) (CBN Statistical Bulletin, 2012). And increased demand for public (utilities) goods like roads, communication, power, education and health. Besides there is increasing need to provide both internal and external security for the people and the nation.

Available statistics show that total government expenditure (capital and recurrent) and its components have continued to rise in the last few decades under review. For instance, government recurrent expenditure increased from ₦716.1 million in 1970 to ₦4,805.2 million in 1980 and ₦3,310,343.38 million in 2010 (see appendix 1). In the same manner, the composition of government recurrent expenditure shows that expenditure on general administration, defense, National Assembly, internal security, agriculture, construction, transportation and communication, education and health increased during the period under review. Moreover, government capital expenditure rose from ₦187.8 million in 1970 to ₦883,874.75 million in 2010 (see appendix 1). Furthermore, the various components of capital expenditure (that is economic services, social service, defense, agriculture, transport and communication, education and health) also show a rising trend between 1970 – 2012.

Unfortunately, rising government expenditure has not translated to meaningful growth and development, as Nigeria ranks among the poorest countries of the world. In addition, many Nigerians have continued to wallow in abject poverty, while more than 60.9% of over 163 million population poor. The Business Day Newspaper of Tuesday 14 February, 2012 reported that the percentage of Nigerians living in abject poverty – those who can afford only the bare essentials of food, shelter and clothing – rose to 60.9% in 2010 as compared to 54.7% in 2004. Although the Nigerian economy is projected to be growing, poverty is likely to get worse as the gap between the rich and the poor continues to widen. Couple with this, is dilapidated infrastructure (especially roads and power supply) that has led to the collapse of many industries, including high level of unemployment. Moreover, macroeconomic indicators like balance of payments, imports obligations, inflation rates, exchange rate, and national savings reveal that Nigeria has not fared well in the last couple of decades under review. Given the issues raised above, this research seeks to examine the impact of government expenditure on economic growth in Nigeria using GDP as dependent variable, and recurrent expenditure, capital expenditure and other controlling variables such as import, export, foreign direct investment  to examine the impact of government expenditure on economic growth in Nigeria from 1970 to 2012.

1.2       Research Questions

The research questions formulated to guide this study are:

                     i.        Does government consumption expenditure exert any significant impact on economic growth in Nigeria?

                    ii.        Has government investments spending contributed to economic growth in Nigeria?

                   iii.        Has government investment on human capital development influenced economic growth?

                  iv.        Does capital stock in Nigeria impact significantly on economic in Nigeria?

                   v.        Has labour force influenced economic growth in Nigeria?

                  vi.        Has private investment any significant impact on economic growth in Nigeria?

1.4    Statements of Research Objectives

Government expenditure is a crucial instrument for economic growth at the disposal of policy makers in a developing country like Nigeria. Current circumstances obliged the proper allocation and efficient utilization of government expenditure as the reward is greater likewise, the penalty for bad policy in this respect is greater than ever before in the realm of globalization. In a nutshell, government expenditure could adversely affect economic growth, if its allocation and utilization are not properly addressed.

This study is aimed at establishing empirically, the relationship between the following components of aggregate production function and economic growth in Nigeria using Barro’s (1990) model:

             i.        The impact of government consumption expenditure on economic growth in Nigeria.

            ii.        The impact of government investment expenditure in Nigeria.

           iii.        The influence of government investment expenditure on human capital development on economic growth in Nigeria.

          iv.        The impact of capital stock on economic growth in Nigeria.

           v.        The impact of labour force on economic growth in Nigeria.

          vi.        The impact of private investment on economic growth in Nigeria.

 

1.5    Significance of the Study

The study investigates the impact of government expenditure on economic growth in Nigeria. Many people have carried out studies on government expenditure and how it affects economic growth in Nigeria. But we are trying to add a new dimension to it by breaking down the explanatory variables into government consumption expenditure, government investment, and government investment expenditure on human capital development, stock of capital, Labour force and private investment. The most closely related works are outlined below.  Nurudeen and Usman (2010) studied the impact of government expenditure in Nigeria using data from 1977-2007 and ECM method. The variables used are recurrent expenditure and capital expenditure on defense, agriculture, education, transport and communication. He did not make use of aggregate production function since labour and capital are excluded. This study consolidates expenditures on human capital (education and health). It also fails to aggregate the other government investment and consumption spending in Nigeria. Usman, Mobolaji, Kilishi, Yaru and Yakubu (2011) examine the impact of public expenditure on economic growth in Nigeria for the period of 1970-2008 using aggregate production function of Barro (1990). The study classified government expenditure into administration, education, transport and communication. Just like Nurudeen and Usman (2010), they did not aggregate government expenditure on human capital. The study also did not consolidate government investment and government consumption expenditure into separate categories.

 

Maku (2009) examines the link between government spending and economic growth from 1970-2006 using Ram (1986) production function. The study classified government expenditure into education, health, government consumption spending and private investment. In the course of the analysis, the study kept both education and health spending separately but analyses them jointly as if they were consolidated. Our study is an improvement over these studies since our study integrates both education spending and health spending to indicate human capital development.

This study is distinct from all other studies because it classifies government expenditure into non-productive and productive government expenditures based on Barro (1990) classifications. The non-productive expenditure relates to all government consumption expenditure excluding health and education. The productive government expenditure relates to government expenditures on human capital development and government investment.

Impact of public expenditure on economic growth (1990-2011)

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The objective of this study is to analyze the impact of government expenditure on economic growth in Nigeria. Because of the complex link between governments spending and economic growth, both descriptive and econometric analyses are used in the study. The descriptive analysis of the study explores the relationship between government spending and economic growth in Nigeria over the period of the study. The study also observes that from early 1970s, oil revenue became the major source of revenue earnings for the government, and government expenditure fluctuates in response to fluctuations in crude oil earnings. .. economics project topics

Impact of public expenditure on economic growth (1990-2011)

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