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A firm level analysis of trade, technology and employment in South Africa

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  • Lawrence Edwards

    (School of Economics, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, South Africa)

Abstract

This paper uses two firm level surveys, the National Enterprise (NE) survey and the Greater Johannesburg Metropolitan Area (GJMA) survey, to explore the implications of globalization for employment in South Africa. These relationships are explored using cross-tabulations and estimated labour demand functions. The paper finds that rising import penetration negatively affected employment in large firms, but not small firms. Relatively large declines in employment also occurred within export firms, despite improvements in export competitiveness and export growth through trade liberalization. Finally, the study finds that skill-biased and trade-induced technological change, as reflected in increased use of computers, foreign investment and the importation of raw material inputs, have raised the skill intensity of production. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Lawrence Edwards, 2004. "A firm level analysis of trade, technology and employment in South Africa," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(1), pages 45-61.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:16:y:2004:i:1:p:45-61
    DOI: 10.1002/jid.1062
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/jid.1062
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Nathalie Chusseau & Joël Hellier, 2012. "Inequality in Emerging Countries," Working Papers hal-00993411, HAL.
    2. Arouri, Hassan & Ben Youssef, Adel & Quatraro, Francesco & Vivarelli, Marco, 2018. "Growth Dynamics of Young Small Firms: Evidence from Tunisia," GLO Discussion Paper Series 197, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    3. Jenkins, Rhys, 2005. "Globalization, Production and Poverty," WIDER Working Paper Series 040, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. Rattsø, Jørn & Stokke, Hildegunn, 2009. "Wage inequality, comparative advantage and skill biased technical change in South Africa," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Frankfurt a.M. 2009 34, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    5. Alberto Behar, 2004. "Estimates of labour demand elasticities and elasticities of substitution using firm-level manufacturing data," SALDRU/CSSR Working Papers 098, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    6. repec:dau:papers:123456789/5843 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. 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.
    8. repec:eee:wdevel:v:96:y:2017:i:c:p:1-18 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Monia Ghazali, 2010. "Trade Openness, Relative Demand of Skilled Workers and Technological Change in Tunisia, 1998–2002," Working Papers 554, Economic Research Forum, revised 10 Jan 2010.
    10. Edwards, Lawrence J & Garlick, Robert, 2008. "Trade flows and the exchange rate in South Africa," MPRA Paper 36666, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Elena Meschi & Erol Taymaz & Marco Vivarelli, 2016. "Globalization, technological change and labor demand: a firm-level analysis for Turkey," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 152(4), pages 655-680, November.
    12. 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.
    13. Andrews, Matthew, 2008. "Is Black Economic Empowerment a South African Growth Catalyst? (Or Could It Be...)," Working Paper Series rwp08-033, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    14. Marianne Matthee & Neil Rankin & Tasha Naughtin & Carli Bezuidenhout, 2016. "The South African manufacturing exporter story," WIDER Working Paper Series 038, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    15. Matt Andrews, 2008. "Is Black Economic Empowerment a South African Growth Catalyst? (Or Could it Be...)," CID Working Papers 170, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    16. Frank Cörvers & Jaanika Meriküll, 2007. "Occupational structures across 25 EU countries: the importance of industry structure and technology in old and new EU countries," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 40(4), pages 327-359, December.
    17. Andries Bezuidenhout & Grace Khunou & Sarah Mosoetsa & Kirsten Sutherland & John Thoburn, 2007. "Globalisation and poverty: impacts on households of employment and restructuring in the textiles industry of South Africa," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(5), pages 545-565.
    18. Rahman, Tauhidur & Mittelhammer, Ronald C., 2006. "Measuring the Impact of Globalization on the Well-being of the Poor: Methodology and an Application to Africa," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21100, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    19. Rulof Burger & Ingrid Woolard, 2005. "The State of the Labour Market in South Africa after the First Decade of Democracy," SALDRU/CSSR Working Papers 133, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    20. Arouri, Hassan & Youssef, Adel Ben & Quatraro, Francesco & Vivarelli, Marco, 2018. "The Determinants of Young Firms Growth in Tunisia," IZA Discussion Papers 11400, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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