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Public investment and inclusive growth in Africa

Opeoluwa Adeniyi Adeosun, Philip Olomola (), Adebayo Adedokun and Olumide Steven Ayodele

International Journal of Social Economics, 2020, vol. 47, issue 12, 1669-1691

Abstract: Purpose - The increasing debate on the viability of broad-based productive employment in stimulating the participatory tendencies of growth makes it instructive to inquire how the African “Big Five” have fared in their quests to ensure growth inclusiveness through public investment-led fiscal policy. Design/methodology/approach - Time varying structures and nonlinearities in the government investment series are captured through the non-linear autoregressive distributed lag, asymmetric impulse responses and variance decomposition estimation techniques. Findings - Study findings show that positive investment shocks stimulate growth inclusiveness by enabling access to opportunities through job creation and productive employment for the populace; this result is evident for Morocco and Algeria. However, there is a non-negligible evidence that shocks due to decline in the government investment manifest in insufficient capital stocks and limited investment opportunities, impede access to opportunities by the populace, hinder labour employability and make growth less inclusive. Furthermore, all short-run findings corroborate long-run results regarding the reaction of inclusive growth to positive investment shocks with the exclusion of South Africa; which, unlike its long-run finding, shows that shocks due to increases in investment can foster growth inclusiveness. Also, in respect to short-run negative investment shocks, Nigeria is the only country that does not align its long-run findings. Practical implications - That public investment shocks make or mar inclusive growth effectiveness shows the need for appropriate fiscal policy consolidation and automatic stabilization guidelines to ensure buffers against shocks and to enhance government investment generation efficiency for a sustainable inclusive growth process that is more participatory in Africa. Originality/value - This study is the first to accommodate possibilities of shocks in the inclusivity of growth analysis for the five biggest African economies which jointly account for over half of the recorded growth in the continent. As such, there is quantitative evidence that government investment is a potent determinant of growth inclusiveness and it is susceptible to structural changes and time variation of shocks.

Keywords: Public investment; Productive employment; Fiscal policy; Inclusive growth; Asymmetry; Africa; E62; H54; O4; O55; Q00 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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