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Economic Union, Finance and Growth: A Prognosis in West Africa

Kizito Uyi Ehigiamusoe and Hooi Hooi Lean ()

African Development Review, 2019, vol. 31, issue 4, 434-447

Abstract: This paper compares the impact of financial development on economic growth in the Union Économique et Monetaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA) and non‐UEMOA countries. It also examines the finance‐growth nexus before and after the formation of UEMOA, as well as the indirect effect of economic union on economic growth through the financial sector. The study reveals a significant difference in the finance‐growth nexus between UEMOA and non‐UEMOA countries. Specifically, financial development has a robust positive impact on growth in UEMOA countries, while the impact is tenuous in non‐UEMOA countries. However, we find no remarkable difference in the finance‐growth nexus before and after the formation of UEMOA. We also reveal that economic union has no robust indirect effect on economic growth via the financial sector. The economic implication is that UEMOA could have economic benefits, but financial development is not a channel through which it influences growth. Therefore, it is necessary to reposition the union so that it can enhance the impact of finance on growth.

Date: 2019
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