IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Nutrition and economic growth in South Africa: A momentum threshold autoregressive (MTAR) approach


  • Phiri, Andrew
  • Dube, Wisdom


Purpose: This purpose of our paper is to examine asymmetric co-integration effects between nutrition and economic growth for annual South African data from the period 1961-2013. Design/methodology/approach: We deviate from the conventional assumption of linear co-integration and pragmatically incorporate asymmetric effects in the framework through a fusion of the momentum threshold autoregressive and threshold error correction (MTAR-TEC) model approaches, which essentially combines the adjustment asymmetry model of Enders and Silkos (2001); with causality analysis as introduced by Granger (1969); all encompassed by/within the threshold autoregressive (TAR) framework, a la Hansen (2000). Findings: The findings obtained from our study uncover a number of interesting phenomena for the South Africa economy. Firstly, in coherence with previous studies conducted for developing economies, we establish a positive relationship between nutrition and economic growth with an estimated income elasticity of nutritional intake of 0.15. Secondly, we find bi-direction causality between nutrition and economic growth with a stronger causal effect running from nutrition to economic growth. Lastly, we find that in the face of equilibrium shocks to the variables, policymakers are slow to responding to deviations of the variables from their co-integrated long run steady state equilibrium. Originality/value: In our study, we make a novel contribution to the literature by exploring asymmetric modelling in the correlation between nutrition intake and economic growth for the exclusive case of South Africa.

Suggested Citation

  • Phiri, Andrew & Dube, Wisdom, 2014. "Nutrition and economic growth in South Africa: A momentum threshold autoregressive (MTAR) approach," MPRA Paper 52950, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:52950

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Thomas, Duncan & Strauss, John, 1997. "Health and wages: Evidence on men and women in urban Brazil," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 159-185, March.
    2. Enders, Walter & Siklos, Pierre L, 2001. "Cointegration and Threshold Adjustment," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(2), pages 166-176, April.
    3. Shelley, Gary L. & Wallace, Frederick H., 2011. "Further evidence regarding nonlinear trend reversion of real GDP and the CPI," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 56-59, July.
    4. Beechey, Meredith & Österholm, Pär, 2008. "Revisiting the uncertain unit root in GDP and CPI: Testing for non-linear trend reversion," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 100(2), pages 221-223, August.
    5. Ferda HALICIOGLU, 2012. "The Demand for Calories in Turkey," Iktisat Isletme ve Finans, Bilgesel Yayincilik, vol. 27(316), pages 93-108.
    6. Rasmus Heltberg, 2009. "Malnutrition, poverty, and economic growth," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(S1), pages 77-88, April.
    7. Harris Neeliah & Bhavani Shankar, 2008. "Is nutritional improvement a cause or a consequence of economic growth? Evidence from Mauritius," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 17(8), pages 1-11.
    8. Bruce E. Hansen, 2000. "Sample Splitting and Threshold Estimation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(3), pages 575-604, May.
    9. Richard Tiffin & P. J. Dawson, 2002. "The Demand for Calories: Some Further Estimates from Zimbabwe," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(2), pages 221-232.
    10. Fan, Shenggen & Pandya-Lorch, Rajul, 2012. "Reshaping agriculture for nutrition and health: An IFPRI 2020 book," IFPRI books, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), number 2020 Conference Book, September.
    11. Satoru Shimokawa, 2010. "Asymmetric Intrahousehold Allocation of Calories in China," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 92(3), pages 873-888.
    12. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "The Efficiency Wage Hypothesis, Surplus Labour, and the Distribution of Income in L.D.C.s," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(2), pages 185-207, July.
    13. Fogel, Robert W, 2004. "Health, Nutrition, and Economic Growth," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(3), pages 643-658, April.
    14. Engle, Robert & Granger, Clive, 2015. "Co-integration and error correction: Representation, estimation, and testing," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 39(3), pages 106-135.
    15. Behrman, Jere R & Deolalikar, Anil B, 1987. "Will Developing Country Nutrition Improve with Income? A Case Study for Rural South India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 492-507, June.
    16. Ogundari, Kolawole & Abdulai, Awudu, 2013. "Examining the heterogeneity in calorie–income elasticities: A meta-analysis," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 119-128.
    17. Deolalikar, Anil B, 1988. "Nutrition and Labor Productivity in Agriculture: Estimates for Rural South India," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(3), pages 406-413, August.
    18. Salois, Matthew & Tiffin, Richard & Balcombe, Kelvin, 2010. "Calorie and Nutrient Consumption as a Function of Income: A Cross-Country Analysis," MPRA Paper 24726, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Vecchi, Giovanni & Coppola, Michela, 2006. "Nutrition and growth in Italy, 1861-1911: What macroeconomic data hide," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 438-464, July.
    20. Emmanuel Skoufias & Vincenzo Di Maro & Teresa González-Cossío & Sonia Rodríguez Ramírez, 2009. "Nutrient consumption and household income in rural Mexico," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 40(6), pages 657-675, November.
    21. Ogundari, Kolawole, 2011. "Estimating Demand for Nutrients in Nigeria: A Vector Error Correction Model," MPRA Paper 28930, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    22. Walter Enders & Selahattin Dibooglu, 2001. "Long-Run Purchasing Power Parity with Asymmetric Adjustment," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 433-445, October.
    23. Svedberg, Peter, 1999. "841 Million Undernourished?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(12), pages 2081-2098, December.
    24. Granger, C W J, 1969. "Investigating Causal Relations by Econometric Models and Cross-Spectral Methods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(3), pages 424-438, July.
    25. Johansen, Soren, 1991. "Estimation and Hypothesis Testing of Cointegration Vectors in Gaussian Vector Autoregressive Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1551-1580, November.
    26. Behrman, Jere R & Deolalikar, Anil B, 1989. "Is Variety the Spice of Life? Implications for Calorie Intake," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(4), pages 666-672, November.
    27. William E. Cole, 1971. "Investment in Nutrition as a Factor in the Economic Growth of Developing Countries," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(2), pages 139-149.
    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. Kolawole Ogundari & Shoichi Ito & Victor O Okoruwa, 2016. "Estimating nutrition-income elasticities in sub-Saharan Africa: implications on health," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 43(1), pages 59-69, January.

    More about this item


    Nutrition; Economic growth; Threshold co-integration; Asymmetric causality; South Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    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:pra:mprapa:52950. 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: (Joachim Winter). 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.