Effect of Government Infrastructure Investment on Economic Growth in Kenya

Elizabeth Wangai Njiru, Justo Masinde Simiyu, Aggrey Otieno Bunde


Government investment in infrastructure is a precursor to the achievement of sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction goals of any economy. Despite shortage of capital, the Kenyan government has continuously invested in both economic infrastructure and social infrastructure with the aim of raising economic growth. However, the growth rate has stagnated at an average of 5% annually for the last 5 years despite the projection of annual growth rate of 10% from 2012 as per Vision 2030. The main objective of this study was to determine the effect of government infrastructure investment on economic growth in Kenya for the period 1990 to 2017. The study adopted Error Correction Model for estimation and conducted the regression analysis using Ordinary Least Squares. Granger causality test found that economic infrastructure investment causes economic growth in Kenya but social infrastructure investment has neutral causality with economic growth. Further, the study found that government investment in economic infrastructure has a positive and significant effect on economic growth in Kenya with a p-value 0.0000 < 0.05 while social infrastructure investment has a negative and insignificant effect on economic growth with a p-value of 0.8798 > 0.05. Additionally, the study established that private investment and labour force have negative and significant effect on economic growth in Kenya. Since infrastructure spending in Kenya is still inadequate, the study recommends the government to increase funds directed to infrastructure investment in the country to the World Bank’s infrastructure investment threshold of 7-9% of GDP, as this will translate to improved productivity as a result of increased physical and human capital leading to actualization of the 10% economic growth rate. The study also recommends complementary government spending to private sector investment since the marginal capital of private capital will be increased leading to higher productivity. Finally, the government should promote conducive environment for private sector investment so that more jobs can be created that will absorb the underutilized or unemployed labour force in the country.

Keywords: Government, Infrastructure, Investment, Economic Growth, Error Correction Model

DOI: 10.7176/JESD/11-4-09

Publication date: February 29th 2020

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ISSN (Paper)2222-1700 ISSN (Online)2222-2855

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