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The effects of foreign aid, foreign direct investment and domestic investment on economic growth in African countries: Nonlinearities and complementarities

Moheddine Younsi, Marwa Bechtini and Hasna Khemili

African Development Review, 2021, vol. 33, issue 1, 55-66

Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between foreign aid (AID), foreign direct investment (FDI) and domestic investment (DI) and its effects on economic growth in 41 African countries. Annual panel data from 1990 to 2016 are examined using fixed‐effects (FE) and system‐GMM estimators. We test the existence of nonlinearities and complementarities in the relationship between AID–FDI, AID–DI, FDI–DI, and AID–FDI–DI. Empirical results confirm the existence of a nonlinear relationship between AID, FDI, DI, and economic growth. Besides, the results show that AID and FDI have a significant positive complementing effect on economic growth. It is shown also that FDI complements DI, while the coupled effect of AID and DI remains weak in catalyzing growth. Moreover, the results indicate that the complementarity between AID–FDI–DI positively influence economic growth, revealing that AID and FDI work as a complement factor to DI and enhance its effectiveness in promoting economic growth. These insights have important policy implications. Policy‐makers in African countries are well advised to implement concrete policy measures suitable for building on the growth momentum created by foreign capital inflows, like FDI, AID as well as remittance.

Date: 2021
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