An examination of sub-national growth in Nigeria: 1999 – 2012

I use satellite imagery on night time lights to measure growth across states and local government areas in Nigeria since the return of democracy in 1999. I show that states in Southern Nigeria have grown faster on average than states in the North. I also evaluate the effects of violence on growth in Plateau, Yobe and Borno states. I find that the crisis in Plateau state has resulted in slower growth compared to other states in the region. I also show that Yobe and Borno states had performed worse than other states in the North even before the outbreak of violence related to the Boko Haram sect. Finally using OLS I estimate a relationship between change in night lights and real GDP growth in Africa. I then use the coefficients to estimate GDP growth for states and local government areas in Nigeria over the period.

Working paper 438
1 June 2014

South African Journal of Economics
30 March 2015

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