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Public debt, corruption and shadow economy in Africa: an empirical analysis

Victor Owusu-Nantwi (Department of Business, Pennsylvania State University, Hazleton Campus, Pennsylvania, USA)
Gloria Owusu-Nantwi (School of Public Service and Governance, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, Accra, Ghana)

Journal of Economic and Administrative Sciences

ISSN: 1026-4116

Article publication date: 22 June 2021

189

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of corruption and shadow economy on public debt in 51 African countries. In addition, the study explores the causal linkage between corruption, shadow economy and public debt.

Design/methodology/approach

The study employs vector error correction model and Kao cointegration test to examine the long-run relationship between corruption, shadow economy and public debt in Africa.

Findings

The study finds a positive and statistically significant relationship between corruption and public debt. Further, the study reports a positive and statistically significant effect of shadow economy on public debt. In the short run, the study finds a unidirectional causal relationship between corruption, shadow economy and public debt with the direction of causality running from corruption and shadow economy to public debt, respectively.

Practical implications

This study recommends that countries should pursue policies and programs that would provide resources to agencies tasked with the responsibility of fighting corruption. This would ensure that countries have effective institutions that curb vulnerabilities to corruption and reduce the size of the shadow economy and public debt.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the literature by showing how corruption and shadow economy affects public debts of African countries. To the best of the author's knowledge, this is the first attempt to examine this relationship in the context of Africa.

Keywords

Citation

Owusu-Nantwi, V. and Owusu-Nantwi, G. (2021), "Public debt, corruption and shadow economy in Africa: an empirical analysis", Journal of Economic and Administrative Sciences, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEAS-08-2020-0150

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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