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The interaction of Energy Consumption and Economic Growth in South Africa: Assessment from the Bounds Testing Approach.

Sunde, Tafirenyika (2017): The interaction of Energy Consumption and Economic Growth in South Africa: Assessment from the Bounds Testing Approach.

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Abstract

Researchers concur that energy plays a very significant role in the economic growth and development of any country and that increasing access to modernized systems of energy is critical to unlocking enhanced economic and social development in any country. In the light of this, the current article has empirically examined the causal interactions between energy consumption and economic growth in South Africa for the period 1970 to 2015 using the ARDL-bounds testing method. The results show that all the variables were found to be integrated of order one. The empirical results obtained fully support a positive long-run cointegrating relationship between real economic growth and energy consumption in South Africa. The article used trade openness and financial development as control variables in the model. The research found that although there is unidirectional causality running from energy consumption to economic growth in the short-run, there is long-run bidirectional causality between the two variables as indicated by the coefficients of the error correction terms which were found to be negative and significant as predicted by theory. This means that reducing energy consumption adversely affect real economic growth in both the short- and the long-run; thus, South Africa should adopt a more vigorous energy policy.

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