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The impact of improved nutrition on labor productivity and GDP growth rate in low- and middle-income countries

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  • Abdulla, Majd
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    This study examined the effects of nutrition on the growth rate of country economies over time. Previous studies on this topic have resulted in debates among researchers over how significant nutritional effects are on individual country economies. For this study, data were collected for four decades (1960s, 1970, 1980s, and 1990s) for 43 low- and middle-income countries. The data were analyzed to determine the effect of nutrition, represented by dietary energy supply (DES), on the growth rate of gross domestic product (GDP) per worker and on labor productivity. The research utilized ordinary least squares, instrumental variables, and random effects regressions in the context of the Solow growth rate model. The research revealed that nutrition did, indeed, have an effect on the economies, but the impact was not very significant for GDP growth rate per worker and labor productivity. The t statistic for the nutrition variable did not support the contribution of DES to growth rate GDP per worker. On the contrary, other variables such as capital per worker and literacy rate showed stronger impacts that did the DES variable.

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    File URL: http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=17649&context=rtd
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    Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series ISU General Staff Papers with number 2004010108000017649.

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    Date of creation: 01 Jan 2004
    Handle: RePEc:isu:genstf:2004010108000017649
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    Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070

    Phone: +1 515.294.6741
    Fax: +1 515.294.0221
    Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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    1. Angus Deaton, 2003. "Health, Inequality, and Economic Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(1), pages 113-158, March.
    2. Anne Case, 2004. "Does Money Protect Health Status? Evidence from South African Pensions," NBER Chapters,in: Perspectives on the Economics of Aging, pages 287-312 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. repec:pri:rpdevs:case_money_protect_nber is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:pri:cheawb:case_money_protect_nber.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Fogel, Robert W, 1994. "Economic Growth, Population Theory, and Physiology: The Bearing of Long-Term Processes on the Making of Economic Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 369-395, June.
    6. Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1991. "Convergence across States and Regions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(1), pages 107-182.
    7. Schultz, T Paul, 1990. "Women's Changing Participation in the Labor Force: A World Perspective," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(3), pages 457-488, April.
    8. Sen, Amartya, 1973. "On Economic Inequality," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198281931.
    9. Dasgupta, Partha, 1997. "Nutritional status, the capacity for work, and poverty traps," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 5-37, March.
    10. repec:pri:cheawb:case_money_protect_nber is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Barro, Robert J & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1992. "Convergence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 223-251, April.
    12. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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