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The Role of Property Rights in the Relationship between Capital Flows and Economic Growth in SSA: Do Natural Resources Endowment and Country Income Level Matter?

Sionfou Seydou Coulibaly, Lewis Landry Gakpa and Issouf Soumaré

African Development Review, 2018, vol. 30, issue 1, 112-130

Abstract: This paper studies the role played by the quality of property rights in the linkages of international capital flows into sub‐Saharan African (SSA) economies. Using panel data of 36 SSA countries over the period 1996–2015 and the ARDL procedure with the Pooled Mean Group regression method appropriate for non‐stationary panel data estimation, we account for the joint effects of property rights quality and openness to foreign capital flows on economic growth. We uncover the existence of a property rights quality threshold beyond which property rights either amplifies the spillovers effects or attenuates the negative effect of capital flows on economic growth. For instance, it takes a level of property rights of at least 60 to have a positive long‐term impact of capital flows on economic growth in natural resource‐poor African countries. The quality of property rights matters more to obtain spillover effects of capital flows on growth in natural resource‐poor countries than in their peer natural resource‐rich countries. Finally, with regard to the countries' income levels, capital flows have significant long‐term spillovers effects on economic growth in advanced African economies than in their low‐income peers.

Date: 2018
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