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A firm level analysis of trade, technology and employment in South Africa

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  • Lawrence Edwards

    (School of Economics, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, South Africa)

Abstract

This paper uses two firm level surveys, the National Enterprise (NE) survey and the Greater Johannesburg Metropolitan Area (GJMA) survey, to explore the implications of globalization for employment in South Africa. These relationships are explored using cross-tabulations and estimated labour demand functions. The paper finds that rising import penetration negatively affected employment in large firms, but not small firms. Relatively large declines in employment also occurred within export firms, despite improvements in export competitiveness and export growth through trade liberalization. Finally, the study finds that skill-biased and trade-induced technological change, as reflected in increased use of computers, foreign investment and the importation of raw material inputs, have raised the skill intensity of production. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of International Development.

Volume (Year): 16 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 45-61

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Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:16:y:2004:i:1:p:45-61

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Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/5102/home

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References

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  1. Feenstra, R.C. & Hanson, G.H., 1995. "Foreign Investment, Outsourcing and Relative Wages," Department of Economics, California Davis - Department of Economics 95-14, California Davis - Department of Economics.
  2. Greenaway, David & Hine, Robert C. & Wright, Peter, 1999. "An empirical assessment of the impact of trade on employment in the United Kingdom," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 485-500, September.
  3. Stephen Machin & John Van Reenen, 1998. "Technology and changes in skill structure: evidence from seven OECD countries," IFS Working Papers, Institute for Fiscal Studies W98/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  4. Eli Berman & John Bound & Stephen Machin, 1997. "Implications of Skill-Biased Technological Change: International Evidence," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development 78, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  5. Currie, Janet & Harrison, Ann E, 1997. "Sharing the Costs: The Impact of Trade Reform on Capital and Labor in Morocco," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages S44-71, July.
  6. Milner, Chris & Wright, Peter, 1998. "Modelling Labour Market Adjustment to Trade Liberalisation in an Industrialising Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(447), pages 509-28, March.
  7. Arvind Subramanian & Gunnar Jonsson, 2000. "Dynamic Gains From Trade," IMF Working Papers 00/45, International Monetary Fund.
  8. Barry, Frank & Bradley, John, 1997. "FDI and Trade: The Irish Host-Country Experience," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1798-1811, November.
  9. L Edwards, 2001. "Globalisation And The Skills Bias Of Occupational Employment In South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 69(1), pages 40-71, 03.
  10. Hanson, G.H. & Harrison, A., 1995. "Trade, Technology and Wage Inequality," Papers, Columbia - Graduate School of Business 95-20, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  11. Harrison, Ann & Hanson, Gordon, 1999. "Who gains from trade reform? Some remaining puzzles," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 125-154, June.
  12. H. Bhorat & J. Hodge, 1999. "Decomposing Shifts in Labour Demand in South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 67(3), pages 155-168, 09.
  13. Berman, Eli & Bound, John & Griliches, Zvi, 1994. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within U.S. Manufacturing: Evidence from the Annual Survey of Manufactures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 367-97, May.
  14. Aguirregabiria, Victor & Alonso-Borrego, Cesar, 2001. "Occupational structure, technological innovation, and reorganization of production," Labour Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 43-73, January.
  15. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1997. "Learning by Trading and the Returns to Human Capital in Developing Countries," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, World Bank Group, vol. 11(1), pages 17-32, January.
  16. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1995. "Foreign Direct Investment and Relative Wages: Evidence from Mexico's Maquiladoras," NBER Working Papers 5122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Edwards, Lawrence & Golub, Stephen S., 2004. "South Africa's International Cost Competitiveness and Exports in Manufacturing," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1323-1339, August.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Rhys Jenkins, 2006. "Globalization and the labour market in South Africa," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(5), pages 649-664.
  2. Rulof Burger & Ingrid Woolard, 2005. "The State of the Labour Market in South Africa after the First Decade of Democracy," SALDRU/CSSR Working Papers, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town 133, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  3. Nathalie Chusseau & Joel Hellier, 2012. "Inequality in emerging countries," Working Papers 256, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  4. Edwards, Lawrence J & Garlick, Robert, 2008. "Trade flows and the exchange rate in South Africa," MPRA Paper 36666, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Rattsø, Jørn & Stokke, Hildegunn, 2009. "Wage inequality, comparative advantage and skill biased technical change in South Africa," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Frankfurt a.M. 2009 34, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  6. Andries Bezuidenhout & Grace Khunou & Sarah Mosoetsa & Kirsten Sutherland & John Thoburn, 2007. "Globalisation and poverty: impacts on households of employment and restructuring in the textiles industry of South Africa," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(5), pages 545-565.
  7. Cörvers Frank & Meriküll Jaanika, 2008. "Occupational Structures across 25 EU Countries: The Importance of Industry Structure and Technology in Old and New EU Countries," ROA Research Memorandum, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA) 002, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  8. Alberto Behar, 2004. "Estimates of labour demand elasticities and elasticities of substitution using firm-level manufacturing data," SALDRU/CSSR Working Papers, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town 098, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  9. Andrews, Matthew, 2008. "Is Black Economic Empowerment a South African Growth Catalyst? (Or Could It Be...)," Working Paper Series, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government rwp08-033, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  10. Jenkins, Rhys, 2005. "Globalization, Production and Poverty," Working Paper Series, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER) RP2005/40, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  11. J. Paul Dunne & Lawrence Edwards, 2006. "Trade Technology and Employment: A case Study of South Africa," Working Papers 0602, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
  12. Rahman, Tauhidur & Mittelhammer, Ronald C., 2006. "Measuring the Impact of Globalization on the Well-being of the Poor: Methodology and an Application to Africa," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association) 21100, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).

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