Original Research

Economic institutions and economic growth: Empirical evidence from the Economic Community of West African States

Lazarus Z. Wanjuu, Pierre le Roux
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 20, No 1 | a1607 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v20i1.1607 | © 2017 Lazarus Z. Wanjuu, Pierre le Roux | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 May 2016 | Published: 11 December 2017

About the author(s)

Lazarus Z. Wanjuu, Department of Economics, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa
Pierre le Roux, Department of Economics, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Economic institutions are considered as the fundamental cause of economic growth. Economic institutions affect economic growth through allocation of resources like physical and human capital. Unfortunately, there is dearth of empirical studies showing the impact of economic institutions on growth of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Aim: This study investigates the impact of economic institutions on economic growth of the ECOWAS.

Setting and method: The study applied cause and effect relationship. The study used econometric research techniques of unit root and co-integration tests to establish the time series properties of the data; the vector error correction and co-integration regression models to estimate the population parameters. The research data comprised data obtained from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Transparency International (TI) and Heritage Foundation databases. The variables employed were the real gross domestic product (GDP) per capita (RGDPPC), corruption perception index (CPI), property rights protection (PROPRGT), private investment per capita (INVESPC), government expenditure per capita (GOEXPPC) and trade openness (TRAOPN).

Results: The results of the data analysed showed that economic institutions represented by the property rights index engender RGDPPC growth in ECOWAS. The CPI could not stimulate RGDPPC growth in ECOWAS. The results also show that all the other variables stimulated growth except trade openness.

Conclusion: The study concludes that good economic institutions, private investments, and government intervention by providing security, economic and social infrastructural facilities are conducive for economic growth in the ECOWAS region. The study recommended that more efforts be made at curbing corruption in the region.

Background: Economic institutions are considered as the fundamental cause of economic growth. Economic institutions affect economic growth through allocation of resources like physical and human capital. Unfortunately, there is dearth of empirical studies showing the impact of economic institutions on growth of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Aim: This study investigates the impact of economic institutions on economic growth of the ECOWAS. Setting and method: The study applied cause and effect relationship. The study used econometric research techniques of unit root and co-integration tests to establish the time series properties of the data; the vector error correction and co-integration regression models to estimate the population parameters. The research data comprised data obtained from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Transparency International (TI) and Heritage Foundation databases. The variables employed were the real gross domestic product (GDP) per capita (RGDPPC), corruption perception index (CPI), property rights protection (PROPRGT), private investment per capita (INVESPC), government expenditure per capita (GOEXPPC) and trade openness (TRAOPN). Results: The results of the data analysed showed that economic institutions represented by the property rights index engender RGDPPC growth in ECOWAS. The CPI could not stimulate RGDPPC growth in ECOWAS. The results also show that all the other variables stimulated growth except trade openness. Conclusion: The study concludes that good economic institutions, private investments, and government intervention by providing security, economic and social infrastructural facilities are conducive for economic growth in the ECOWAS region. The study recommended that more efforts be made at curbing corruption in the region

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