IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bla/sajeco/v76y2008is2ps110-s125.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Sectoral Elasticity Of Substitution And Returns To Scale In South Africa

Author

Listed:
  • Tewodros g. Gebreselasie

Abstract

Elasticity of substitution and returns to scale are estimated on a sectoral basis for South Africa using panel-based generalised least square procedure. Apart from sectoral differences in terms of elasticity of substitution, the study found that elasticity of substitution is below unity in all of the sectors. Most of the sectors studied are found to have increasing returns to scale in production. The study further explores the implications of elasticity of factor substitution and returns to scale on growth and employment creation. It is argued that a greater number of jobs can be created from growth of sectors with constant or decreasing returns to scale than from the same level of output growth generated by sectors with increasing returns to scale. This is the case when the employment-creating potential of the same amount of additional output is compared in all the sectors examined. By virtue of scale economies, a sector like finance, insurance, real estate and business services generates more output with less proportional increase in inputs, which means growth in this sector may not have the desired impact on job creation. However, given the sector's large share (20%) of the country's total output and employment, it may generate more jobs, even if sectors like utilities and construction experience the same level of output growth. Given its importance for growth and employment, the study recommends further investigation into the reasons why elasticity of substitution is lower in sectors like utilities, mining and trade, catering and accommodation services. Copyright (c) 2008 The Author. Journal compilation (c) 2008 Economic Society of South Africa.

Suggested Citation

  • Tewodros g. Gebreselasie, 2008. "Sectoral Elasticity Of Substitution And Returns To Scale In South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 76(s2), pages 110-125, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:sajeco:v:76:y:2008:i:s2:p:s110-s125
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1813-6982.2008.00184.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 search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dennis R. Maki & Lindsay N. Meredith, 1987. "A Note on Unionization and the Elasticity of Substitution," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 20(4), pages 792-801, November.
    2. John A. List & Haiwen Zhou, 2007. "Internal Increasing Returns to Scale and Economic Growth," NBER Technical Working Papers 0336, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Robert M. Solow, 1956. "A Contribution to the Theory of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(1), pages 65-94.
    4. Kaddour Hadri, 2000. "Testing for stationarity in heterogeneous panel data," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 3(2), pages 148-161.
    5. Rainer Klump & Peter McAdam & Alpo Willman, 2007. "The long-term sucCESs of the neoclassical growth model," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(1), pages 94-114, Spring.
    6. JW Fedderke, 2002. "The Structure of Growth in the South African Economy: Factor Accumulation and Total Factor Productivity Growth 1970-97," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 70(4), pages 282-299, March.
    7. Jorge M. Katz, 1968. "‘Verdoorn Effects’, Returns To Scale, And The Elasticity Of Factoe Substitution," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(3), pages 342-352.
    8. Azariadis, Costas, 1996. "The Economics of Poverty Traps: Part One: Complete Markets," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(4), pages 449-496, December.
    9. Klump, Rainer & Preissler, Harald, 2000. " CES Production Functions and Economic Growth," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(1), pages 41-56, March.
    10. Kenneth J. Arrow, 1962. "The Economic Implications of Learning by Doing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(3), pages 155-173.
    11. Sapir, Andre, 1980. "Economic Growth and Factor Substitution: What Happened to the Yugoslav Miracle?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 294-313, June.
    12. Duffy, John & Papageorgiou, Chris, 2000. "A Cross-Country Empirical Investigation of the Aggregate Production Function Specification," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 87-120, March.
    13. Dupuy, Arnaud & de Grip, Andries, 2006. "Elasticity of substitution and productivity, capital and skill intensity differences across firms," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(3), pages 340-347, March.
    14. Levin, Andrew & Lin, Chien-Fu & James Chu, Chia-Shang, 2002. "Unit root tests in panel data: asymptotic and finite-sample properties," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 1-24, May.
    15. Krugman, Paul R., 1979. "Increasing returns, monopolistic competition, and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 469-479, November.
    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. Traoré, Jean Abel & Ouedraogo, Idrissa Mohamed, 2015. "Public policies promoting the informal economy: effects on incomes, employment and growth in Burkina Faso," MPRA Paper 74760, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    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:76:y:2008:i:s2:p:s110-s125. 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.