Energy consumption and GDP in Tunisia: Cointegration and causality analysis
In this paper, the Johansen cointegration technique is used to examine the causal relationship between per capita energy consumption (PCEC) and per capita gross domestic product (PCGDP) for Tunisia during the 1971-2004 period. In order to test for Granger causality in the presence of cointegration among the variables, a vector error correction model (VECM) is used instead of a vector autoregressive (VAR) model. Our estimation results indicate that the PCGDP and PCEC for Tunisia are related by one cointegrating vector and that there is a long-run bi-directional causal relationship between the two series and a short-run unidirectional causality from energy to gross domestic product (GDP). The source of causation in the long-run is found to be the error-correction terms in both directions. Hence, an important policy implication resulting from this analysis is that energy can be considered as a limiting factor to GDP growth in Tunisia. Conclusions for Tunisia may also be relevant for a number of countries that have to go through a similar development path of increasing pressure on already scarce energy resources.
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