Is Population Growth a Requisite For National Economic Growth? A Revisit of the Debates Using Panel Data Analysis

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Economics, University of Lagos, Akoka-Yaba, Lagos state

2 National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Jabi, Abuja, Nigeria

3 Department of Economics, Caleb University, Imota, Lagos State

4 Department of Economics, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun state

5 Department of Economics, Trinity University, Lagos state, Nigeria



This current paper reassesses the controversial discourse regarding the impact and predictability of economic growth by population growth using data from 66 countries that constitute 85 percent of the global population. The countries were drawn from the six continents and the panel data span through the periods 2001-2019. The variables include GDP per capita used to measure economic growth (Regressand), aggregate population, fertility rate, life expectancy, crude death rate as well as gross fixed capital formation. The Pedroni residual cointegration test, fixed effects estimator, and panel causality tests were utilized to estimate the data at the regional and global levels. The result of the cointegration test established that the regressand and regressors have a long-run relationship both at the regional and global levels. Findings from the fixed effects model suggest that the main variable (population growth) exerts a negative significant effect on per-capita GDP in each continent. While the result for the complete continent advances that GDP per capita is adversely and significantly predicted by population growth and fertility rate whereas, gross fixed capital formation and crude death rate exert a direct significant effect on the regressand. The panel causality result for the whole continent suggests that there is a two-way causality between the regressand and the regressors. Following the findings, it is recommended that pragmatic policy measures that will control the rising fertility and rate encourage skill acquisition programs, and raise employment generation for the rising population will be a welcome development.


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