Very little income or wage data was systematically recorded on the living standards of South Africa’s black majority during much of the twentieth century. Between 1911 and 1996, for example, only fragmentary evidence of black living standards remain in mining reports and manufacturing censuses, often at a too generalised level or of too short time-span to render any meaningful unbiased, long-run interpretations of living standards. This paper uses three new datasets to document, for the first time, the stature of black South Africans over the course of the twentieth century.
This paper investigates the causal relationship between electricity supply and economic growth in South Africa using annual data covering the period between 1985 and 2014. This paper used a multivariate framework which included trade openness, electricity price, capital and employment as intermittent variables. The ARDL bound testing was employed to establish the long run relationship between these variables. The Vector Error Correction Model (VECM) was estimated to carry out the test of causality. The results support the existence of co-integration among the variables.
This paper analyses the economy-wide impact of the national minimum wage on the South African economy. The analysis was conducted using a static computable general equilibrium (CGE) model of South Africa, which captured the observed structure of South Africa’s economy. The parameters of the CGE equations were calibrated to observed data from a social accounting matrix (SAM) for 2010. One policy option with three scenarios was considered.
The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between population density and non-economic quality of life. Popular opinion has generally been that population density can be seen as beneficial for economic growth, as it allows for greater productivity, greater incomes and can be translated into higher levels of quality of life. Recently though, growing evidence tends to suggest the exact opposite in that increases in productivity and incomes are not translated into better quality of life.
This paper analyses the effects of the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Free Trade Agreement (TFTA) on the South African economy using a global Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model. Simulation results show that South Africa’s economy gains from the implementation of the trade agreement with GDP rising by more than 1 per cent relative to the baseline. This win in overall economic activity occurs on the back of a terms of trade increase and a surge in regional trade, which allows for higher levels of both exports and imports.
The destabilising economic impact of South Africa’s dependence on imported crude oil is a key motivation behind the country’s drive to develop a biofuel industry. Much concern has been raised over the impact of biofuels production on price of food for the country's poor. It is this concern that has seen the prohibition of maize and the favouring of sugar cane as a feedstock in South Africa's Biofuels Industrial Strategy. This paper sets out to analyse the economic feasibility of producing bioethanol from sugar based on the industry's efforts to diversify its market base.
South Africa’s export performance has been disappointing, and this is likely related to weak growth outcomes. We investigate the effect of the exchange rate on these outcomes, through two possible channels: its level and its volatility. We find little evidence in the literature or in our own tests to suggest volatility has been an important factor. The level of the currency appears to be more important, with currency undervaluation apparently favouring growth and exports. This may justify a policy of asymmetric reserve accumulation.
This paper analysed the short- and long-run interactions between the exchange rate and different types of investments in South Africa from 1970 to 2014. The Vector Autoregressive model (VAR), a multivariate Johansen co-integration approach and Granger causality test were conducted to analyse the interactions between the exchange rate and different types of investments. The short-run analysis found that there was a short-run relationship between the exchange rate and different types of investments in South Africa.
Water resource intensity measures the intensity of water use in terms of volume of water per unit of value added. It is an internationally accepted environmental indicator of the pressure of economic activity on a country's water resources and therefore a reliable indicator of sustainable economic development.