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Explaining Africa’s Public Consumption Procyclicality: Revisiting Old Evidence

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  • João Tovar Jalles

Abstract

This paper compiles a novel dataset of time-varying measures of government consumption cyclicality for a panel of 46 African economies between 1960 and 2014. Government consumption has, generally, been highly procyclical over time in this group of countries. However, sample averages hide serious heterogeneity across countries with the majority of them showing procyclical behavior despite some positive signs of graduation from the “procyclicality trap” in a few cases. By means of weighted least squares regressions, we find that more developed African economies tend to have a smaller degree of government consumption procyclicality. Countries with higher social fragmentation and those are more reliant on foreign aid inflows tend to have a more procyclical government consumption policy. Better governance promotes counter-cyclical fiscal policy whileincreased democracy dampens it. Finally, some fiscal rules are important in curbing the procyclical behavior of government consumption.

Suggested Citation

  • João Tovar Jalles, 2019. "Explaining Africa’s Public Consumption Procyclicality: Revisiting Old Evidence," Working Papers REM 2019/0100, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, REM, Universidade de Lisboa.
  • Handle: RePEc:ise:remwps:wp01002019
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    government consumption; time-varying coefficients; weighted least squares; inequality; financial constraints; institutions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus

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