IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bla/sajeco/v71y2003i1p119-142.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

South African Manufacturing Performance In International Perspective 1970-1999

Author

Listed:
  • Michiel Dijk

Abstract

This paper analyses the historical performance of the South African manufacturing sector in an international perspective. After a brief overview of the industrialisation process of South Africa during the 20th century, a binary comparison of manufacturing output and productivity between South Africa and the US is presented. The industry-of-origin approach is used to construct unit value ratios (UVRs), as an alternative to the exchange range for converting US and South African output data into the same currency. Subsequently, the UVRs are used to estimate labour and total factor productivity levels for total manufacturing and 13 manufacturing branches for the period 1970-1999 in comparison to the USA. Next, these results are used to compute relative unit labour costs, which shed light on the international competitiveness of the South African manufacturing sector at a detailed level. The study is part of the International Comparisons of output and Productivity (ICOP) project carried out at the universities of Groningen and Eindhoven. We find that there exists a considerable labour and total productivity gap between the US and South Africa, which is continuously widening over time. In 1970, labour productivity stood at 32 percent of US level, while it was only 20 percent in 1999. With respect to relative unit labour costs, the results show that on average, South Africa is competitive with the USA, albeit there are some industries which show consistent relative unit labour costs above US level.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Michiel Dijk, 2003. "South African Manufacturing Performance In International Perspective 1970-1999," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 71(1), pages 119-142, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:sajeco:v:71:y:2003:i:1:p:119-142
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1813-6982.2003.tb00074.x
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Timmer, Marcel P., 1996. "On the Reliability of Unit Value Ratios in International Comparisons," GGDC Research Memorandum 199631, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
    2. Bela Balassa, 1964. "The Purchasing-Power Parity Doctrine: A Reappraisal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72, pages 584-584.
    3. Raymond W. Goldsmith, 1951. "A Perpetual Inventory of National Wealth," NBER Chapters,in: Studies in Income and Wealth, Volume 14, pages 5-73 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. repec:dgr:rugggd:199631 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Bhagwati, Jagdish N, 1984. "Why Are Services Cheaper in the Poor Countries?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(374), pages 279-286, June.
    6. Dale W. Jorgenson, 1995. "Productivity, Volume 1: Postwar US Economic Growth," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262100495, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Jørn Rattsø & Torfinn Harding, 2009. "Looking Abroad, but Lagging Behind: How the World Technology Frontier Affects South Africa," Working Paper Series 10209, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
    2. Ceglowski Janet & Golub Stephen S., 2012. "Does China Still Have a Labor Cost Advantage?," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 12(3), pages 1-30, September.
    3. Edwards, Lawrence & Golub, Stephen S., 2004. "South Africa's International Cost Competitiveness and Exports in Manufacturing," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1323-1339, August.
    4. Janet Ceglowski & Stephen Golub, 2011. "Does China Still Have a Labor Cost Advantage?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3579, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. McKenzie, David, 2011. "How can we learn whether firm policies are working in africa ? challenges (and solutions?) for experiments and structural models," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5632, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:sajeco:v:71:y:2003:i:1:p:119-142. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/essaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.