Africa and Asia are the two most populous continents in the world and are projected to increase further in the near future and this puts the governments under great stress in terms of increased public expenditure and dealing with a low revenue generation. Thus, the purpose of this study is to assess the influence of population age structure on the size of government expenditure in Africa and Asia covering the period 1990–2018.
The study employed panel fully modified ordinary least squares (FMOLS) estimation in estimating the relevant relationship between the variables in the model.
The key findings revealed that the major population age structures that influence the size of government expenditure in Africa are population aged 0–14 years and population aged 15–64 years, while that of Asia are population aged 15–64 years and population aged 65 years and above. The findings provided strong support for the Population Reference Bureau report (2019) that countries in Africa are home to some of the world's youngest population, that is, those aged 15 years or below, while Asia is home to some of the world's oldest population, that is, those aged 65 years and above.
While generalized method of moments (GMM) estimation is beneficial in the presence of endogeneity, it is only designed for situations with a small time period (T) and a large number of cross sections (N). Hence, the estimation technique was limited only to FMOLS as the number of the cross sections or countries which is ten for Africa and ten for Asia is lower than the time period which is 29 years (1990–2018).
Empirical literature investigating the influence of population age structure on the size of government expenditure has focussed mainly on one aspect of the population age structure and government expenditure, which is the influence of ageing population on government expenditure on health. Hence, this study focussed on assessing the influence of population age structure on the size of government expenditure. The study is unique as it compared the two most populous continents in the world, which are Africa and Asia to determine which of the population age structures have the most significant influence on the size of government expenditure.
The author would like to express his sincere gratitude to the senior editor, Prof. John Luiz and three anonymous referees for their constructive comments which were instrumental in enhancing the quality of the article. Any remaining errors are solely the author’s responsibility.Funding: The author received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.
Azolibe, C.B. (2020), "Panel data comparative analysis on the influence of population age structure on the size of government expenditure in Africa and Asia", International Journal of Emerging Markets, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOEM-04-2020-0440
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