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Does the composition of government expenditure matter for Eastern Caribbean economies’ long-run sectoral output growth? An ARDL bound test approach

Ankie Scott-Joseph (Department of Economics, University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus Barbados, St Michael, Barbados)
Treshauna Felecia Turner (University of the West Indies at Mona Faculty of Science and Technology, Mona, Jamaica)

International Journal of Development Issues

ISSN: 1446-8956

Article publication date: 7 November 2018

Issue publication date: 20 March 2019

402

Abstract

Purpose

This study takes a disaggregated approach to investigate the impacts of long-run GDP on changes in total government expenditure in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) economies. An understanding of the relationship between changes in total government expenditure and GDP (by sector categories) is expected to provide a working tool to understand the growth debt nexus of Caribbean countries. The purpose of the paper is to use an auto regressive distributed lag (ARDL) and error correction model (ECM) to examine and analyse short- and long-run dynamics of disaggregated approach to both output and government expenditure in a dynamic model to identify the growth in the Eastern Caribbean Countries.

Design/methodology/approach

In an attempt to examine the long-run dynamics, data for the period 1970-2015 were used in an ARDL and ECM framework. The authors examine the long-run GDP impacts of changes in total government expenditure and in the shares of different spending categories for the ECCU countries to establish and analyse short and long-run dynamics.

Findings

The results suggest that total fiscal expenditure and disaggregated expenditure including debt services have both positively and negatively contributed to economic growth in the agriculture, manufacturing and mining sectors. Among others, the study found that high national debt in the region resulted primarily from increases in government expenses and diminishing income sources.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to take a disaggregated approach to investigate the relationship between economic growth and government expenditure in the Eastern Caribbean States. The authors’ empirical results suggest that debt servicing reduces economic growth both in the short and long run. The greatest impact being felt in the mining and manufacturing sectors, namely, 1 per cent increase in debt service will bring about 7.90 and 1.67 per cent decrease in economic growth. These results offer fairly strong support to the view that expenditure share variables can weaken sectoral growth, and hence force the overall growth to decline.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This paper, Does the composition of government expenditure matter for Eastern Caribbean Economies’ long-run sectoral output growth? An ARDL Bound Test Approach, is an extended and revised version of a preliminary paper that was originally reported in Proceedings of the Caribbean Centre for Money and Finance Conference of November 2016.

Citation

Scott-Joseph, A. and Turner, T.F. (2019), "Does the composition of government expenditure matter for Eastern Caribbean economies’ long-run sectoral output growth? An ARDL bound test approach", International Journal of Development Issues, Vol. 18 No. 1, pp. 2-14. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJDI-01-2018-0011

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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