Panel data analysis of employment and unemployment in Sub-Saharan Africa and its impact on annual percentage change in GDP growth

Gideon Kweku Appiah, Kingsley Prempeh, Shadrack Benn, Ebenezer Oduro



Sub-Sahara Africa has over the years been exposed to diverse arguments and agitations about the provision of employment to alleviate poverty in the sub region with the aim of achieving full employment. Whereas some economists and bibliographers believe of the significant impact that employment and unemployment have on annual percentage change in GDP growth, some do not. The main objective of the study is to access the impact that employment and unemployment have on annual percentage change in GDP growth in Sub-Saharan African countries. World Development Indicator (WDI) data was collected from the World Bank from the year 2000 to 2014 for the purpose of the study. A sample of 12 sub-Saharan African countries were randomly selected using a random number generator and variables taken. Two statistical models were used; the Pooled Ordinary Least Square (OLS) regression model and the Least Square Dummy Variable (LSDV) regression model with fixed effect was used to empirically access impact that employment and unemployment have on annual percentage change in GDP growth. Both the Pooled Ordinary Least Square regression model and the Least Square Dummy Variable regression model tested to be statistically significant but LSDV regression model explained a greater percentage of the variability of the model than the Pooled OLS for employment on GDP growth rate. The pooled OLS regression model was not statistically significant at 5% level of significance in assessing the impact that unemployment has on annual percentage change in GDP growth. Further empirical analysis of the study also revealed a positive relationship between annual percentage change in GDP growth and employment for the female population (Empl15+Female), employment rate for the male population (Empl15+Male) and employment rate for the Total Youth population (Empl15-24 total). Also, an inverse relationship existed between unemployment male youth population (15-24years), and female youth population (15-24years) on annual percentage change in GDP growth. The study can be improved by considering other factors that impact GDP growth other than employment and unemployment.

Keywords: Employment, Unemployment, GDP growth rate, Pooled OLS, LSDV

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