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Policy Papers

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Inflating our troubles: South Africa’s economic performance and the exchange rate

D. Fowkes, C. Loewald and M. Marinkov
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...
Jun 2016
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Estimating South Africa’s output gap and potential growth rate

Johannes W. Fedderke and Daniel K. Mengisteab
This paper estimates the potential output of the South African economy using several univariate filters as well as taking a production function approach. Our aim is to compare the sensitivity of the results to the different methodologies and different measures of output. We find that the potential...
Mar 2016
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Stokvels as an instrument and channel to extend credit to poor households in South Africa: An inquiry

Polly Mashigo and Christie Schoeman
A stokvel can in general terms be defined as an umbrella term used to describe informal savings organisations in the African community in South Africa. Stokvels operate mainly in black areas, and have social, economic and entertainment functions (Verhoef, 2002). The aim of the paper is to...
Oct 2010
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High Unemployment Yet Few Small Firms: The Role of Centralized Bargaining in South Africa

Jeremy R. Magruder
South Africa has very high unemployment, yet few adults work informally in small firms. One potential contributor to this problem is that large firms and unions can extend arbitration agreements to non-unionized smaller firms, raising wages. While local labor market characteristics influence the...
Mar 2010
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Health Insurance or Food for the Family? An Examination into Unintended Consequences

Olufunke Alaba and Steven Koch
In developing countries, where health insurance is not a commonly purchased financial instrument, recent debates have revolved around extending health insurance coverage to a wider range of the population, primarily via compulsory insurance schemes. However, these debates rarely consider the...
May 2009
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Policy Change and Economic Growth: A Case Study of South Africa

David Faulkner and Christopher Loewald
South Africa’s growth experience provides an example of how contrasting growth trends - long-term decline followed by improved growth - pivot around political change, in this case a transition to democracy. In the decade prior to 1994, South Africa experienced the worst period of economic growth...
Oct 2008
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