IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Globalization and the labour market in South Africa


  • Rhys Jenkins

    (School of Development Studies, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK)


The paper examines the impacts of globalization on labour in South Africa. A framework is developed to link different aspects of the process of globalization with labour market outcomes in developing countries. This framework is then applied to the South African case focusing on trade, foreign direct investment, technology transfer, macro-economic policies and the impact on the bargaining power of labour. The paper concludes that although globalization is only one of the factors affecting the South African labour market in recent years, the outcomes for labour, particularly unskilled labour, have been unfavorable. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:18:y:2006:i:5:p:649-664 DOI: 10.1002/jid.1261

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Link to full text; subscription required
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bill Gibson & Dirk Ernst Van Seventer, 2000. "A Tale of Two Models: Comparing structuralist and neoclassical computable general equilibrium models for South Africa," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(2), pages 149-171.
    2. Robert E. Baldwin, 1995. "The Effects of Trade and Foreign Direct Investment on Employment and Relative Wages," NBER Working Papers 5037, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Haroon Bhorat, 2000. "The impact of trade and structural changes on sectoral employment in South Africa," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(3), pages 437-466.
    4. repec:wsi:wschap:9789812798091_0017 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. 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.
    6. Drusilla K. Brown & Alan V. Deardorff & Robert M. Stern, 2009. "The Effects of Multinational Production on Wages and Working Conditions in Developing Countries," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Globalization And International Trade Policies, chapter 17, pages 623-687 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    7. Simon Roberts & John T. Thoburn, 2004. "Globalization and the South African textiles industry: impacts on firms and workers," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(1), pages 125-139.
    8. Greenaway, David & Hine, Robert C. & Wright, Peter, 1999. "An empirical assessment of the impact of trade on employment in the United Kingdom," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 485-500, September.
    9. Arvind Subramanian & Trevor Serge Coleridge Alleyne, 2001. "What Does South Africa's Pattern of Trade Say About its Labor Markets?," IMF Working Papers 01/148, International Monetary Fund.
    10. Dani Rodrik, 1997. "Has Globalization Gone Too Far?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 57.
    11. L Edwards, 2001. "Globalisation And The Skills Bias Of Occupational Employment In South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 69(1), pages 40-71, March.
    12. Habib, Adam & Padayachee, Vishnu, 2000. "Economic Policy and Power Relations in South Africa's Transition to Democracy," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 245-263, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    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:wly:jintdv:v:18:y:2006:i:5:p:649-664. 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: .

    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.