THE INFORMAL ECONOMY AND ECONOMIC GROWTH OF NIGERIA: A TIME-VARYING PARAMETER APPROACH
Keywords:economic growth, informal economy, time-varying parameter model, Nigeria
Studies on the relationship between the informal economy and economic growth have been inconclusive as to whether the positive or negative relationship dominates. These results are partly due to the type of estimation technique such as fixed-parameter techniques. Fixed parameter techniques have been used to observe the relationship between economic growth and the informal economy. A caveat to the fixed-parameter estimation techniques used to observe the relationship between the informal economy and economic growth is the inability to account for annual disruptions. This paper seeks to examine the relationship between the informal economy and economic growth in Nigeria in the period from 1991 to 2015 using the Time-Varying Parameter (TVP) model. The TVP model is estimated in two stages. First, an Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) multiple regression is estimated and the outcome is subjected to the flexible least-squares approach. The results show the dominance of the negative effects of the informal economy on economic growth. The outcomes also reveal that overtime movements of time-varying parameters in the informal economy and economic growth are connected with economic and political events. This paper recommends the absorption of the informal economy into the official economy through government policy.
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