Informality and Economic Growth in Nigeria: 1980-2014

Mohammed Yelwa, A. J. Adam


The paper examines the impact of informal sector activities on economic growth in Nigeria between 1980-2014. The contributions of informal sector activities to the growth of Nigerian economy cannot be over emphasized. It is the source of livelihood to the majority of poor, unskilled, socially marginalized and female population and is the vital means of survival for the people in the country lacking proper safety nets and unemployment insurance especially those lacking skills from formal sector jobs. The relationship between informality and economic growth is not clear because the sector is not regulated by the law also there is no concrete evidence that this sector enhances growth because the sector’s contributions to growth is not measured. The use of endogenous growth model becomes relevant in this study. The theory emphasizes the role of production on the long-run via a higher rate of technological innovation. The variables that were tested are official economy nominal GDP, informal economy nominal GDP, currency in circulation, demand deposit, ratio of currency in circulation to demand deposit, narrow money, informal economy as percentage of official economy. ADF test was conducted to establish that the data series of all variables are stationary t levels. Having established the stationarity test we also, conducted causality test of the response of official economy nominal GDP to informal economy nominal GDP. In conclusion, the impact of informal sector economy on economic growth in Nigeria is quiet commendable. Even though, the relationship between informality and economic growth is not straight. The paper recommended thus, the need for the government to integrate the activities of the informal economy into formal sector and size of the sector is measured and regulated because their roles are commendable. As it will improve tax collection and enhance fiscal policy.

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