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Relevance of governance quality on the effect of foreign direct investment on economic growth: new evidence from African countries

Njangang, Henri and Nawo, Larissa (2018): Relevance of governance quality on the effect of foreign direct investment on economic growth: new evidence from African countries.

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Abstract

Despite the large volume of studies on the direct impact of foreign direct investment on economic growth, the results remain inconclusive. This has led researchers to examine the channels through which FDI affects economic growth. Evidence suggests that institution quality can improve economic growth by increasing foreign direct investment in the host countries. As governance quality is improving in African countries during the last decade, the aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between foreign direct investment, governance quality and economic growth in 51 African countries over the period 1998-2015. The empirical evidence is based on Generalized Method of Moments. The following findings are established. First, there is an unconditional positive effect of foreign direct investment on economic growth in African countries. We also find a positive and significant relationship between governance quality and economic growth. Second, these findings are still robust when we use the composite governance quality indicators. Three, when regards at interaction terms between governance quality and foreign direct investment, we find a convincing evidence that governance quality moderate favorably the effect of FDI on economic growth. Four, the moderate effect of governance quality on foreign direct investment and growth nexus still robust with composite governance quality indicators. Overall this study has established net direct positive and significant effect of foreign direct investment on economic growth and that this effect is enhanced by good governance. The major implication from our study is that African countries should improve their governance quality to benefit more from FDI in terms of achieving better growth outcomes.

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