A time series analysis of government expenditure and health outcomes in Nigeria


  • Bosede Olanike Awoyemi Department of Economics, Afe Babalola University of Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6391-2443
  • Aderonke Abisola Makanju Research Department, Lagos Business School, Lagos State https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8176-312X
  • Jane Mpapalika Capacity Building and Collaborations Department, Research on Poverty Alleviation (REPOA), Regent Estate, Dar-es-Salaam https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5340-0938
  • Rita Samuel Ekpeyo Department of Economics, Afe Babalola University of Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State




life expectancy, mortality rate, health outcome, health expenditure, Nigeria


Background. Despite a significant share of Nigeria’s budget in the health sector, the health status has not improved, as reflected by poor health indicators. Objective. This study investigates the linkages between government expenditure and health outcomes in Nigeria. Methods. The Autoregressive Distributed Lag technique was used to examine the short- and long-run effects of government health expenditure on health outcomes separately. The health outcome was captured by life expectancy at birth and mortality rate. Results. Findings show a negative relationship exists between health expenditure and mortality rate, implying that a rise in health expenditure leads to a decrease in mortality rate, while life expectancy at birth positively responds to the changes in health expenditure. Conclusions. As a policy recommendation from this study, the government should pursue increasing health expenditure and partner with the private sector in the form of Public-Private Partnerships to improve the health sector and outcomes.

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Author Biographies

Bosede Olanike Awoyemi, Department of Economics, Afe Babalola University of Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State

A research fellow at the Macroeconomics and Governance Division, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Ethiopia, Addis Ababa bosede.awoyemi@un.org

Aderonke Abisola Makanju, Research Department, Lagos Business School, Lagos State

Research Department, Lagos Business School, Nigeria

Rita Samuel Ekpeyo, Department of Economics, Afe Babalola University of Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State

Department of Economics, Afe Babalola University of Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State Nigeria.



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How to Cite

Awoyemi, B. O., Makanju, A. A., Mpapalika, J., & Ekpeyo, R. S. (2023). A time series analysis of government expenditure and health outcomes in Nigeria. Journal of Public Health in Africa, 14(7). https://doi.org/10.4081/jphia.2023.1409