South Africa

The monetary policy of the South African Reserve Bank: stance, communication and credibility

This paper analyses the evolution of the monetary policy stance, communication and credibility of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) since 2000, when it adopted a flexible Inflation Targeting (IT) regime to facilitate the achievement of its price stability mandate. Empirical results indicate that the stance became accommodative after the global financial crisis of 2009, with a tendency of the implicit inflation target to increase, while after 2014 it turned tighter and the implicit target started declining.

Public Infrastructure Provision and Ethnic Favouritism: Evidence from South Africa

Does ethnic favouritism in administrative governments affect public infrastructure provision? While previous literature has studied the effects of ethnic favouritism on economic growth and development determinants, there has been limited empirical evidence on ethnic favouritism in public infrastructure provision, particularly in South Africa. We study the effects of ethnic favouritism on provision of water and electricity infrastructure.

The Origin of Extractive States in Africa: The Case of the British Cape Colony, 1834-1909

The majority of African states continue to be regarded as extractive states. We use the Cape Colony's public expenditure to account for the emergence of extractive states in Africa. With a sub-imperial role for Southern African colonial expansion, the Cape Colony became a template for extractive practices that continue to characterize the region. Using public expenditure data, budget debates and existing historiography, we trace the elite competition for limited public resources that associated the Cape's transition from an agrarian society to a mining-led economy.

The J–Curve Phenomenon: Evidence from Commodity Trade Between South Africa and the United States

Previous studies on the J–curve phenomenon for South Africa have been carried out using either aggregate trade data between South Africa and the rest of the world or between South Africa and her major trading partners. The evidence of J-curve effects in South Africa's bilateral trade have been mixed. In this paper, we revisit this issue by examining the short- and long-run effects of exchange rate changes on trade flows in the context of disaggregated industry data on bilateral trade between South Africa and the United States.

Access to micro – and informal loans: evaluating the impact on the quality of life of poor females in South Africa

Background: Since the early 1980s, many governments have investigated the possibility of utilising access to microloans as a pathway to grow economies out of unemployment and thereby improve people's quality of life. Studies that have previously investigated the impact of microloans found a positive relationship to quality of life. Unfortunately, these studies mainly measure quality of life using monetary (income) measures rather than assessing the entire multidimensionality of quality of life.

Quality of life: Validation of an instrument and analysis of relationships between domains

Quality of life (QoL) is now widely recognised as a multidimensional concept. This study validates an instrument to measure multidimensional QoL, and investigates the relationships between the domains thereof. The domains analysed are: health, housing and infrastructure, socio-economic status, social relationships, governance and safety. We utilise a rich household-level dataset collected by the GCRO on QoL in the Gauteng city-region of South Africa.

The Demand for Cigarettes: New Evidence from South Africa

This paper provides an extensive analysis of the demand for cigarettes based on longitudinal data drawn from the South Africa National Income and Dynamic Study (NIDS: 2008 - 2014). We compare the results of the pooled OLS (POLS), the standard two-part model, the random and the fixed effect (RE, FE) panel regression. Like previous evidence into cigarette prices, we obtain negative price elasticity of demand for cigarettes, with the conditional elasticity (POLS and RE estimates) signicantly smaller than the total price elasticity (two-part model estimates).

Real Exchange Rate Volatility and Employment Growth in South Africa: The Case of Manufacturing

This paper investigates the effect of exchange rate volatility on employment growth in South Africa, a country that is characterised by high rates of unemployment and relatively high exchange rate volatility. Employing the Autoregressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) cointegration method over the period 1995Q3 to 2015Q2 and using a variety of specifications, results show that real exchange rate volatility has a significant contractionary effect on manufacturing employment growth.

Unfulfilled Expectations and Populist Politics: Examining the Emergence of the EFF in South Africa

The last decade has seen the resurgence of populism with South Africa not spared. In South Africa, the elections in 2014 saw the emergence of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) which, through its own brand of populist politics, won over 6.5 percent of the vote making it the third largest party in the country. However, the question of what drives people towards populist parties in the South African context has not been answered.

Obesity Based Labour Market Discrimination in South Africa: A Dynamic Panel Analysis

There is increasing concern regarding obesity related healthcare costs in South Africa. Obesity is also seen to have far reaching effects that seep into labour market outcomes (Barnett & Kumar, 2009). Using NIDS panel data, this study aims to examine the relationship between Body Mass Index and employment status as well as wage levels. This is done using a probit and tobit model and thereafter a system GMM model to take endogeneity into account.

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