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Popkin, Barry M. (1976). Human Resource Development and Productivity: The Role of Nutrition. Economics and Finance in Indonesia, 24(3), 275-291.


While we find a strong correlation between low labor productivity, low income and undernutrition in both low and high income countries, social scientists usually feel the causality runs mainly in a direction where poor nutrition results from low productivity or low income. Until recently there has been little reason to believe nutrition may be a critical factor in explaining low productivity or low income. Consequently it has been difficult to implement adult nutrition programs based on their impact on production. Moreover most nutrition programs based on noneconomic humanitarian considerations are directed at women and children. For some time, physiologists have known that a person's work capacity is related to his/her nutrition status but controlled careful studies of this relationship under normal working conditions have been sparse. In this paper, the major hypotheses which link the explanation of low productivity or low income to nutritional factors are presented. Then the recent studies which shed light on some aspects of the nutrition-productivity relationship are presented and the gaps in our knowledge are clarified.

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Economics and Finance in Indonesia


Popkin, Barry M.


Popkin - 0000-0001-9495-9324