Effects of International Financial Integration on Economic Growth in Developing Countries: Heterogeneous Panel Evidence from Seven West African Countries
Keywords:international financial integration, economic growth, heterogeneous panel, WAEMU.
From the existing literature, there is no consensus on the effects of financial integration on economic growth. The studies have mostly focused on country samples without taking into account country heterogeneity, or have been limited to a causality study. This paper examines the effects of international financial integration on economic growth in seven West African Economic and Monetary Union’s countries (WAEMU)[i], over the period 1980 - 2019. Methodologically, the study applies heterogeneous panel techniques taking into account inter-individual dependence (MG, CCEMG and AMG). The results show that the stock of external debt and the opening of the capital account negatively affect long-term economic growth in the WAEMU region. The country analysis confirms the panel results for Benin, Burkina Faso and Mali. Sectoral misallocation of external capital could be a plausible explanation. The economies of WAEMU countries are mostly dominated by the service sector, which contributes more to their GDP than the productive sectors, i.e. agriculture and industry. While the agricultural sector, which employs a large part of the active population, is still traditional and does not benefit from capital inflows, the industrial sector is still embryonic.
[i] Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. In this study, we have removed Guinea-Bissau due to lack of data over a large part of the period.
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