Education and Economic Growth: Empirical Evidence from Nigeria

The nexus between education and growth as an engine for increased economic growth has continued to attract the attention of economists and policy makers. Experts observe that education has an impact on society, both at the micro and macro levels. However, education has not been given its rightful place in the case of Nigeria, as reflected in the nation’s budgetary allocations. The country is also characterized by dualism in every form, such as an oil and non-oil sector. This dualism is also reflected in the contributions to growth, as education impacts the components of growth differently. It is against this backdrop that this study examined the impact of different levels of education on different components of growth in Nigeria. Data for the study were sourced from Central Bank of Nigeria Annual Bulletins and the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, as well as from the World Bank for the period 1970–2013. The Fully Modified Ordinary Least Square (OLS) and Dynamic OLS approaches were employed for the analysis. Education was captured by enrolment rates at different levels of schooling and completion rate, which revealed that different levels of education have positive impacts of varying magnitude on each of the components of growth, as well as on overall growth in Nigeria, but the magnitude of the impact from completion rates is much higher on overall growth. By implication, since completion rate explains growth at a higher magnitude than enrolment rates in Nigeria, the government should endeavour to provide modalities to curtail school dropouts in the education system as a measure to boost completion rates that will facilitate growth.