Soriano, B., Garrido, A. (2016) How important is economic growth for reducing undernourishment in developing countries?, Food Policy Volume 63, August, Pages 87–101
There is intense debate in the literature about how important economic growth is for solving the problem of undernourishment. This paper focuses on the rate of change in the prevalence of undernourishment and looks at whether higher economic growth speeds up reductions in undernutrition in developing countries. The analysis uses panel data analysis on data spanning 22 years (1991–2012) and covering 27 developing countries. Results reveal that faster annual economic growth leads to larger annual improvements in undernourishment rates. Both annual and long-term economic growth are relevant. Sustained economic growth has a greater positive impact on undernutrition than short-term economic growth. In addition to economic growth, investments in health, education and access to drinking water are also enabling factors for reducing undernourishment. In conclusion, increased income growth can hasten the effects of food policies aimed at reducing undernourishment, but not to the extent that sustained growth and better access to health, education and drinking water can.