IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Savings and economic growth in South Africa: A multivariate causality test


  • Odhiambo, Nicholas M.


This study takes a fresh look at the direction of causality between savings and economic growth in South Africa during the period 1950-2005. The study was motivated by the low and declining savings rate currently prevailing in South Africa, on the one hand, and the dwindling level of economic growth experienced in the country during the 1990s, on the other. Given the weakness associated with the bivariate causality framework, the current study incorporates foreign capital inflow as an intermittent variable in the bivariate model between savings and economic growth--thereby creating a simple trivariate causality framework. Using the cointegration-based error-correction mechanism, the study finds a bi-directional causality between savings and economic growth to prevail in the short run and a distinct unidirectional causal flow from economic growth to savings to dominate in the long run. On balance, the study finds growth-led savings to predominate in South Africa. The results also show that foreign capital inflow and savings Granger-cause each other, while economic growth Granger causes foreign capital inflow. The study, therefore, recommends that in the short run, South African policies should be geared towards achieving both higher savings and economic growth in order to boost investors' confidence and to attract foreign capital inflow. However, in the long run, the country should shift its focus towards achieving higher economic growth, in order to boost the domestic savings and to sustain a steady flow of foreign capital investment.

Suggested Citation

  • Odhiambo, Nicholas M., 2009. "Savings and economic growth in South Africa: A multivariate causality test," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 708-718, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jpolmo:v:31:y:2009:i:5:p:708-718

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-1037, October.
    2. Quah, Danny, 1993. "Empirical cross-section dynamics in economic growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 426-434, April.
    3. Dipendra Sinha & Tapen Sinha, 2008. "Relationships among household saving, public saving, corporate saving and economic growth in India," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(2), pages 181-186.
    4. Emmanuel Anoruo & Yusuf Ahmad, 2001. "Causal Relationship between Domestic Savings and Economic Growth: Evidence from Seven African Countries," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 13(2), pages 238-249.
    5. Ashfaque H. Khan & Lubna Hasan & Afia Malik, 1992. "Dependency Ratio, Foreign Capital Inflows and the Rate of Savings in Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 31(4), pages 843-856.
    6. Sebastian Edwards, 1995. "Why are Saving Rates so Different Across Countries?: An International Comparative Analysis," NBER Working Papers 5097, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Griffin, Keith B & Enos, J L, 1970. "Foreign Assistance: Objectives and Consequences," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 313-327, April.
    8. Perron, Pierre & Rodriguez, Gabriel, 2003. "GLS detrending, efficient unit root tests and structural change," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 1-27, July.
    9. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:5:y:2006:i:3:p:1-12 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Toda, Hiro Y. & Yamamoto, Taku, 1995. "Statistical inference in vector autoregressions with possibly integrated processes," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1-2), pages 225-250.
    11. Reinhart, Carmen M. & Talvi, Ernesto, 1998. "Capital flows and saving in Latin America and Asia: a reinterpretation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 45-66, October.
    12. László Kónya, 2004. "Saving and Growth: Granger Causality Analysis with Bootstrapping on Panels of Countries," Working Papers 2004.02, School of Economics, La Trobe University.
    13. Nejib Hachicha, 2003. "Capital Inflows-National Saving Dynamics in Tunisia: Evidence from Cointegration, Weak Exogeneity and Simultaneous Error Correction Modelling," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(4), pages 43-60.
    14. Mavrotas, George & Kelly, Roger, 2001. "Old Wine in New Bottles: Testing Causality between Savings and Growth," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 69(0), pages 97-105, Supplemen.
    15. Newey, Whitney & West, Kenneth, 2014. "A simple, positive semi-definite, heteroscedasticity and autocorrelation consistent covariance matrix," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 33(1), pages 125-132.
    16. Ang, James B., 2008. "Determinants of foreign direct investment in Malaysia," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 185-189.
    17. Sinha, Dipendra & Sinha, Tapen, 1998. "Cart before the horse? The saving-growth nexus in Mexico," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 43-47, October.
    18. Abu-Bader, Suleiman & Abu-Qarn, Aamer S., 2008. "Financial development and economic growth: The Egyptian experience," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 887-898.
    19. Irandoust, Manuchehr & Ericsson, Johan, 2005. "Foreign aid, domestic savings, and growth in LDCs: An application of likelihood-based panel cointegration," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 616-627, July.
    20. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Kevin S. Nell & Maria M. De Mello, 2015. "Testing Capital Accumulation-Driven Growth Models in a Multiple-Regime Framework: Evidence from South Africa," CEF.UP Working Papers 1501, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    2. BONGA-BONGA, Lumengo & GUMA, Nomvuyo, 2017. "The Relationship Between Savings And Economic Growth At The Disaggregated Level," Economia Internazionale / International Economics, Camera di Commercio Industria Artigianato Agricoltura di Genova, vol. 70(1), pages 1-24.
    3. Tang, Chor Foon & Tan, Bee Wah, 2014. "A revalidation of the savings–growth nexus in Pakistan," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 370-377.
    4. Sheilla Nyasha & Nicholas M. Odhiambo, 2015. "The Impact of Banks and Stock Market Development on Economic Growth in South Africa: an ARDL-bounds Testing Approach," Contemporary Economics, University of Finance and Management in Warsaw, vol. 9(1), April.
    5. Mohamed El Hedi Arouri & Adel Ben Youssef & Hatem M'Henni & Christophe Rault, 2014. "Energy use and economic growth in Africa: a panel Granger-causality investigation," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 34(2), pages 1247-1258.
    6. Wesseh, Presley K. & Lin, Boqiang, 2016. "Can African countries efficiently build their economies on renewable energy?," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 161-173.
    7. Kumar, Saten & Pacheco, Gail, 2012. "What determines the long run growth rate in Kenya?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 705-718.
    8. Odhiambo, Nicholas M., 2010. "Energy consumption, prices and economic growth in three SSA countries: A comparative study," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 2463-2469, May.
    9. Bassam AbuAl-Foul, "undated". "The Causal Relation between Savings and Economic Growth: An Empirical Analysis," Economics Working Papers 06-05/2015, School of Business Administration, American University of Sharjah.
    10. Phiri, Andrew, 2017. "The Feldstein-Horioka puzzle and the global recession period: Evidence from South Africa using asymmetric cointegration analysis," MPRA Paper 79096, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Yilmaz BAYAR, 2014. "Savings, Foreign Direct Investment Inflows and Economic Growth in Emerging Asian Economies," Asian Economic and Financial Review, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 4(8), pages 1106-1122, August.
    12. Ouedraogo, Nadia S., 2013. "Energy consumption and economic growth: Evidence from the economic community of West African States (ECOWAS)," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 637-647.
    13. Abdelhafidh, Samir, 2013. "Potential financing sources of investment and economic growth in North African countries: A causality analysis," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 150-169.

    More about this item


    Savings Economic growth Causality;


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jpolmo:v:31:y:2009:i:5:p:708-718. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.