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South Africa's Export Predicament

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  • Hausmann, Ricardo

    (Harvard U)

  • Klinger, Bailey

Abstract

This paper explores export performance in South Africa over the past 50 years, and concludes that a lagging process of structural transformation is part of the explanation for stagnant exports per capita. Slow structural transformation in South Africa is found to be a consequence of the peripheral nature of South Africa’s productive capabilities. We apply new tools to evaluate South Africa’s future prospects for structural transformation, as well as to explore the sectoral priorities of the DTI’s draft industrial strategy. We then discuss policy conclusions, advocating an ‘open-architecture’ industrial policy where the methods applied herein are but one tool to screen private sector requests for sector-specific coordination and public goods. [Jointly published as Center for International Development Working Paper No. 129 and KSG Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP06-040.]

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government in its series Working Paper Series with number rwp06-040.

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Date of creation: Sep 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp06-040

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  1. Ricardo Hausmann & Dani Rodrik, 2002. "Economic Development as Self-Discovery," NBER Working Papers 8952, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Hausmann, Ricardo & Klinger, Bailey, 2006. "Structural Transformation and Patterns of Comparative Advantage in the Product Space," Working Paper Series rwp06-041, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  3. Ricardo Hausmann & Jason Hwang & Dani Rodrik, 2005. "What You Export Matters," NBER Working Papers 11905, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Robert C. Feenstra & Robert E. Lipsey & Haiyan Deng & Alyson C. Ma & Hengyong Mo, 2005. "World Trade Flows: 1962-2000," NBER Working Papers 11040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Rattsø, Jørn & Stokke, Hildegunn E., 2012. "Trade policy in a growth model with technology gap dynamics and simulations for South Africa," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 1042-1056.
  2. Sandra Poncet & Felipe Starosta de Waldemar, 2012. "Product relatedness and firm exports in China," Working Papers 2012-27, CEPII research center.

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