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Policy asymmetries and fiscal sustainability: evidence from Nigeria

Opeoluwa Adeniyi Adeosun (Economics, Faculty of Social Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria)
Olumide Steven Ayodele (Economics, Bingham University, Abuja, Nigeria)
Olajide Clement Jongbo (Business Administration, Lagos State University, Lagos, Nigeria)

African Journal of Economic and Management Studies

ISSN: 2040-0705

Article publication date: 6 April 2021

Issue publication date: 25 May 2021




This study examines and compares different specifications of the fiscal policy rule in the fiscal sustainability analysis of Nigeria.


This is methodologically achieved by estimating the baseline constant-parameter and Markov regime switching fiscal models. The asymmetric autoregressive distributed lag fiscal model is also employed to substantiate the differential responses of fiscal authorities to public debt.


The baseline constant-parameter fiscal model provides mixed results of sustainable and unsustainable fiscal policy. The inconclusiveness is adduced to instability in primary fiscal balance–public debt dynamics. This makes it necessary to capture regime switches in the fiscal policy rule. The Markov switching estimations show a protracted fiscal unsustainable regime that is inconsistent with the intertemporal budget constraint (IBC). The no-Ponzi game and debt stabilizing results of the Markov switching fiscal model further revealed that the transversality and debt stability conditions were not satisfied. Additional findings from the asymmetric autoregressive model estimation show that fiscal consolidation responses vary with contraction and expansion in output and spending, coupled with downturns and upturns in public debt dynamics in both the long and short run. These findings thus confirm the presence of asymmetries in the fiscal policy authorities' reactions to public debt. Further, additional evidences show the violation of the IBC which is exacerbated by the deleterious effect of the pro-cyclical fiscal policy response in boom on the improvement of the primary fiscal balance.


This study deviates from the extant literature by accommodating time variation, periodic switches and fiscal policy asymmetries in the fiscal sustainability analysis of Nigeria.



Adeosun, O.A., Ayodele, O.S. and Jongbo, O.C. (2021), "Policy asymmetries and fiscal sustainability: evidence from Nigeria", African Journal of Economic and Management Studies, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 302-320.



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