To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

The effectiveness of government expenditure on economic growth in Botswana

Kafayat Amusa (Department of Economics, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa)
Mutiu Abimbola Oyinlola (Department of Economics, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria)

African Journal of Economic and Management Studies

ISSN: 2040-0705

Article publication date: 16 July 2019

Issue publication date: 19 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between government expenditure and economic growth in Botswana over the period 1985‒2016. The study employed the auto-regressive distributed lag (ARDL) bounds testing approach in investigating the nexus. The study makes the argument that the effectiveness of public spending should be assessed not only against the amount of the expenditure but also by the type of the expenditure. The empirical findings showed that aggregate expenditure has a negative short-run and positive long-run effect on economic growth. When expenditure is disaggregated, both forms of expenditures have a positive short-run effect on economic growth, whereas only a long-run positive impact of recurrent expenditure is observed. The study suggests the need to prioritize scarce resources in productive recurrent and development spending that enables increased productivity.

Design/methodology/approach

This study examined the effectiveness of government spending in Botswana, within an ARDL framework from 1985 to 2016. To achieve this, the analysis is carried out on both an aggregate and disaggregated level. Government spending is divided into recurrent and development expenditures.

Findings

This study examined the effectiveness of government spending in Botswana, within an ARDL framework from 1985 to 2016. To achieve this, the analysis hinged on both the aggregate and disaggregated levels. The results of the aggregate analysis suggest that total public expenditure has a negative impact on economic growth in the short run; however, its impact becomes positive over the long run. On disaggregating government spending, the results show that both recurrent and development expenditures have a significant positive short-run impact on growth; however, in the long run, the significant positive impact is only observed for recurrent expenditure.

Practical implications

The results provide evidence of the diverse effects of government expenditure in the country. In the period under investigation, 73 percent of total government expenditure in Botswana was recurrent in nature, whereas 23 percent was related to development. From the results, it can be observed that although the recurrent expenditure has contributed to increased growth and must be encouraged, it is also pertinent for the Botswana Government to endeavor to place more emphasis on productive development expenditure in order to enhance short- and long-term growth. Further, there is a need to strengthen the growth-enhancing structures and to prioritize the scarce economic resources toward productive spending and ensuring continued proper governance over such expenditures.

Originality/value

The study provides empirical evidence on the effectiveness of government spending in a small open, resource-reliant middle-income SSA economy and argues that the effectiveness of public spending must be assessed not only against the amount of the expenditure but also on the type or composition of the expenditure. The study contributes to the scant empirical literature on Botswana by employing the ARDL approach to cointegration technique in estimating the long- and short-run impact of government expenditure on economic growth between 1985 and 2016.

Keywords

Citation

Amusa, K. and Oyinlola, M.A. (2019), "The effectiveness of government expenditure on economic growth in Botswana", African Journal of Economic and Management Studies, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 368-384. https://doi.org/10.1108/AJEMS-03-2018-0081

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited