IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/oup/jafrec/v19y2010i2p163-204.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Do Unions Matter? Trade Reform and Manufacturing Wages in South Africa-super- †

Author

Listed:
  • Riham Shendy

Abstract

The effect of nominal tariff cuts on industry wage differentials has been the subject of a number of recent empirical studies. In this paper we investigate the latter relationship with respect to the South African trade reform experience using micro-level labour data for the period from 1995 to 2004. Our study extends on the existing literature in two respects: first, we are the first controlling for the potential effect of labour market institutions, such as collective bargaining power, in assessing the relationship between tariffs and industry wages. Second, we account for general equilibrium effects by controlling for the impact of changes in effective tariff rates. On the one hand, we find that only wages in industries with levels of unionisation beyond a certain threshold were adversely affected by tariff cuts. This negative effect is exacerbated by the extent of sectoral union power. The reported large magnitudes of the tariff impact on wages is in line with the considerably high mark-ups documented for South Africa. On the other hand we find some evidence suggesting that wages in industries with union power below the threshold were positively affected by the tariff cuts. This evidence suggests the omitted variable bias resulting from not controlling for industry heterogeneities in bargaining power when examining the wage--trade relationship. Copyright 2010 The author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Centre for the Study of African Economies. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Riham Shendy, 2010. "Do Unions Matter? Trade Reform and Manufacturing Wages in South Africa-super- †," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 19(2), pages 163-204, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jafrec:v:19:y:2010:i:2:p:163-204
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jae/ejp018
    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.

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. Ahsan, Reshad N. & Mitra, Devashish, 2014. "Trade liberalization and labor's slice of the pie: Evidence from Indian firms," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 1-16.

    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:oup:jafrec:v:19:y:2010:i:2:p:163-204. 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: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/csaoxuk.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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.