Corruption, governance and economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa: a need for the prioritisation of reform policies

Kamil Omoteso, Hakeem Ishola Mobolaji

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    Purpose – This study aims to investigate the impact of governance indices (especially control of corruption) on economic growth in some selected Sub-Sahara African (SSA) countries with a view to making policy recommendations. Specifically, the study attempts to assess whether either governance reforms (especially those relating to control of corruption) or simultaneous policy reforms could have any impact on the growth of the sample SSA countries. Design/methodology/approach – The governance indicators used in this study were drawn from the PRS Group and the Worldwide Governance Indicators for 2002-2009, while the real gross domestic product (GDP) per capita growth data were obtained from the World Bank database. The study covered 47 SSA countries, and it adopted the panel data framework, the fixed effect, the random effect and the maximum likelihood estimation techniques for the analyses. Findings – The study found that political stability and regulatory quality indicators have growth-enhancing features, as they impact on economic growth in the region significantly, while government effectiveness impacts negatively on economic growth in the region. Despite, several anti-corruption policies in the region, the impact of corruption control on economic growth is not very obvious. The study also found that simultaneous implementation of the voice and accountability and the rule of law indicators has more positive impact on economic growth in the region. Both policies are complementary, and, hence, can be pursued simultaneously. Research limitations/implications – The results suggest that reform efforts that aim at enhancing accountability, regulatory quality, political stability and the rule of law have more growth-enhancing features and, thus, should be given more priority over reform efforts that singly address the issue of control of corruption due to the endemic, systemic and ubiquitous nature of corruption in the region. Practical implications – The study suggests that reform efforts that aim at enhancing accountability, regulatory quality and rule of law have more growth-enhancing features and, therefore, should be given more priority. Originality/value – Many previous studies attempted to examine the impact of corruption on economies, but this paper tries to assess the effect of corruption control and other governance indices on economic growth in the most vulnerable region of the world, the SSA. Besides, the study adopts the panel data framework which makes it possible to allow for differences in the form of unobservable individual country effects.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)316-330
    JournalSocial Responsibility Journal
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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    • Governance
    • Economic growth
    • Corruption
    • Panel data framework
    • Sub-Saharan Africa

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