This paper aims to assess the relationship among fiscal variables (net lending, government expenditure and revenue) and economic growth in Sub-Saharan African countries. Using yearly data for the period between 1980 and 2011 in 15 ECOWAS countries, a weak long-run relationship between government expenditure and revenue emerge, but only in the case of WAMZ countries. Granger causality analysis showed mixed results for WAEMU countries, while for four out of six WAMZ countries (Gambia, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone) the “tax-and-spend” hypothesis holds, since government revenue would drive the expenditure. Finally, in the last three decades, cyclical component of economic growth has reduced its fluctuations, both for WAEMU and WAMZ member States.
The data set for this article can be found at: http://hdl.handle.net/1902.1/19158