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Human Capital Development and Macroeconomic Performance in Nigeria: An Autoregressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) Approach

Abstract

While developed and most developing nations have seen the need and continue to invest heavily in the development and training of her manpower as shown by huge budgetary allocations to education and health, Nigeria continues to play politics with her human capital development policy which has been poor and only been effective on paper despite the huge outlay of human capital available at our disposal. This study therefore examined the impact of human capital development on the macroeconomic performance of Nigeria. Using autoregressive distributed lagged model, the study proxied human capital development using government expenditure on education, government expenditure on health, secondary school enrolment rate, and school enrolment rate at tertiary level, while per capita GDP was used as proxy variable for measuring macroeconomic performance.

The results of the estimated short and long run ARDL models indicated, an insignificant and negative relationship between human capital development and gross domestic product per capita (GDPPC) in the short run. Another result of this study is that, only tertiary enrolment rate (TER) has a significant and positive impact on gross domestic product per capita (GDPPC). This finding was an indication of relatively good but insufficient efforts by government to boost human capital. The study concluded that while human capital development is crucial for accelerated macroeconomic performance, government efforts aimed at boosting human capital has had a depressing effect on macroeconomic performance. On the strength of this, the study recommended that government and economic policy makers in Nigeria should place greater emphasis on human capital development.

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