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What Does South Africa's Pattern of Trade Say About its Labor Markets?

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Author Info

  • Arvind Subramanian
  • Trevor Serge Coleridge Alleyne

Abstract

This paper examines the factor intensity of South Africa''s trade. The conclusion is that South Africa is revealed though its trade pattern to be capital abundant (relative to labor). Surprisingly, this result holds especially for South Africa''s trade with its high income partners, which should presumably have been more capital-rich than South Africa. Moreover, this revealed capital intensity of South African production was not reversed during the 1990s after the dismantling of apartheid. This favoring of capital use, against the background of high and rising under-utilization of the country''s labor resources, raises questions about the functioning of South Africa''s labor market institutions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 01/148.

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Length: 25
Date of creation: 01 Oct 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:01/148

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Related research

Keywords: Trade; net exports; unskilled labor; net exporter; trading partners; exporter; pattern of commodity composition; skilled labor; trading partner; imported inputs; intermediate goods; factor shares; intermediate inputs; trade patterns; market equilibrium; trade flows; net exporter of capital; imported intermediate; export subsidies; bilateral net export; aggregate exports; trade exports; trade surplus; trade data; international trade performance; partner share; total exports; gross exports; partner country; export patterns; factor endowments; net exporters; free trade agreements; industry political economy; aggregate dynamic gains; transport equipment; world market; unemployment rate; trade embargo; domestic production; bilateral trade data; merchandise commodity world output; trade theories; trade pattern; free trade agreements; metal products; foreign trade model; exporters; partner countries; open economy; nontariff barriers;

References

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  1. Harry P. Bowen & Leo Sveikauskas, 1989. "Judging Factor Abundance," NBER Working Papers 3059, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Dalia Hakura, 1999. "A Test of the General Validity of the Heckscher-Ohlin Theorem for Trade in the European Community," IMF Working Papers 99/70, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Leamer, Edward E, 1980. "The Leontief Paradox, Reconsidered," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(3), pages 495-503, June.
  4. Deardorff, Alan V., 1984. "Testing trade theories and predicting trade flows," Handbook of International Economics, in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 467-517 Elsevier.
  5. By Gunnar Jonsson & Arvind Subramanian, 2001. "Dynamic Gains from Trade: Evidence from South Africa," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 48(1), pages 8.
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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., vol. 18(5), pages 649-664.
  2. John Whalley & J. Clark Leith, 2003. "Competitive Liberalization and a US-SACU FTA," NBER Working Papers 10168, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Arvind Subramanian & Raghuram Rajan & Ioannis Tokatlidis & Kalpana Kochhar & Utsav Kumar, 2006. "India's Pattern of Development," IMF Working Papers 06/22, International Monetary Fund.
  4. 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.
  5. Lawrence Edwards & Robert Z. Lawrence, 2006. "South African Trade Policy Matters: Trade Performance and Trade Policy," NBER Working Papers 12760, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Kochhar, Kalpana & Kumar, Utsav & Rajan, Raghuram & Subramanian, Arvind & Tokatlidis, Ioannis, 2006. "India's pattern of development: What happened, what follows?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(5), pages 981-1019, July.
  7. Nathan Nunn & Daniel Trefler, 2006. "Putting the Lid on Lobbying: Tariff Structure and Long-Term Growth when Protection is for Sale," NBER Working Papers 12164, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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