Foreign Investment Dependence and Infant Mortality Outcomes in the Sub-Sahara: A Bayesian P-Spline Approach to Processing Missing Sub-Regional Data
Arowolo, Olufunlola Atinuke
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Based on extant literature, it is unclear whether life-expectancy-at-birth estimates are improved, or adversely affected, by maladapted foreign capital instruments. Accordingly, this study presents a thematic review, guided by existing research, on the comparative effectiveness and/or analogous deleterious effects of the influence of capital instruments on the sub-Saharan economy. From an analytical perspective, the ultimate objective of this project is to improve the scientific rigor of the observable reality of economic conditions in developing countries that are dependent on FDI and ODA as substantial capital instruments within their national budgets. As a preliminary evaluation method, and to compensate for nonnormality, this study incorporates Bayesian P-splines into the analytical process, necessarily for imputation, but also for smoothing, and preventing overfitting. The captured posterior rate changes are expected to offer insight into the downstream impact of foreign capital flows on human development indicators south of the Sahara. Overall, considering the sub-regional infant mortality aggregate, and the expectation that ODA has no explanatory power in the trend in infant mortality rates (Hypothesis 1), the SADC posterior outcome of the Bayesian Structural Time Series (BSTS) specification yielded strong statistical evidence, whilst the evidence for ECOWAS is substantial, according to the Harold Jeffery’s scale. From an idealistic, theoretical perspective, the ultimate expectation for the findings of this study is that they proffer meaningful evidence that informs real-world decisions for capitalists, NGOs, and policymakers who write and drive directives with a focus on the sub-Sahara.