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Testing the Relationship between Government Revenue and Expenditure: Evidence from Nigeria

DOI: 10.5539/ijef.v4n11p172

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The paper examines the revenue-spending hypothesis for Nigeria using macro data from 1970 to 2011. Correlation analysis, granger causality test, regression analysis, lag regression model, vector error correction model and impulse response analysis were the techniques used for analysis. The paper found that revenue and expenditure are highly correlated and that causality runs from revenue to expenditure in Nigeria. The vector error correction model also confirms that there is a significant long run relationship between revenue and expenditure implying that disequilibrium in expenditure can be corrected in the long run through policies that adjust oil and non-oil sector revenues. The lagged regression model showed that the positive relationship between revenue and expenditure reverts to negative at lag five thereby justifying the need for the use of medium term expenditure framework to monitor expenditure patterns in the short to medium term. The paper concludes that short term shocks from crude oil price passes through oil revenue to affect expenditure. This has led to swings in public expenditure pattern with sustained increase of recurrent expenditure over capital that has consequences for economic growth. Putting policies in place to enhance the performance of the non-oil sector and adopting expenditure framework that accounts for possible decline in crude oil prices was conceived as useful in enhancing a healthy revenue-expenditure relationship in Nigeria.


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