The Effect of Fiscal Policy on Financial Sector Development in Sierra Leone: A Time Series Approach (Published)
This study investigates fiscal policy impact on financial sector development in Sierra Leone between 1980 and 2015. The objective of the study is to establish the long run relationship between fiscal policy variable and financial sector development. The study used a quantitative approach; the model was formulated with Private sector credit used as a proxy variable for financial sector development. This was regressed against gross domestic product, money supply, real interest rates, inflation and total tax revenue. The study used error correction model to estimate both long term and short term effects of the explanatory variables on the dependent variables in the empirical functions. The unit root tests shows that variables in the equations were I(1) variables, meaning they were stationed at first difference using both the Augmented Dickey Fuller and Philip Pheron tests. The Johansson co integration tests concludes that there are more than one co-integrating factors in each empirical function, therefore a long run relationship exists between private sector credit and its explanatory variables. To validate the quality of the data for the use of vector auto regression, all of the tests were conducted including; lag length criteria test, serial correlation test, normality test, stability test. The result from the private sector credit and fiscal and non-fiscal variables in Sierra Leone contradicts most of the theoretical and empirical literature on financial sector development. The conclusion is that even when we are expecting a negative relationship between private sector credit and money supply, real interest rates, total tax revenue and inflation, the results all came out positively and significantly in long run financial economic analysis. This study shows that the private sector is willing to borrow regardless of the interest rate in the economy and the level of taxation. Basically the risk appetite in the private sector shows the level of desperation of private institution to access short to medium term capital. This might explain the reason for the high non-performing loans (NPL) in the economy of Sierra Leone.