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Why isn't South Africa growing faster? Microeconomic evidence from a firm survey

  • George Clarke

    (The World Bank, Washington, DC, USA)

  • James Habyarimana

    (Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA)

  • David Kaplan

    (University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa)

  • Vijaya Ramachandran

    (Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA)

The investment levels in South Africa have remained relatively low despite an overall picture of economic stability and good governance. This analysis looks at South Africa's investment climate, using data from an Investment Climate Survey (ICS) of over 800 firms conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry and the World Bank. It suggests that exchange rate instability and the cost of crime may be deterrents to investment. But more importantly, labour regulations may be discouraging firms from entering labour-intensive areas. Labour costs are also high, especially for skilled workers. Efforts to improve worker skills are crucial for raising human capital levels and reducing the cost of skilled labour. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of International Development.

Volume (Year): 20 (2008)
Issue (Month): 7 ()
Pages: 837-868

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Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:20:y:2008:i:7:p:837-868
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  1. Pencavel, John, 1995. "The role of labor unions in fostering economic development," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1469, The World Bank.
  2. Johannes Fedderke & Yongcheol Shin, 2004. "Trade, Technology and Wage Inequality in the South African Manufacturing Sectors," ESE Discussion Papers 106, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  3. Hinkle, Lawrence E. & Monteil, Peter J. (ed.), 1999. "Exchange Rate Misalignment: Concepts and Measurement for Developing Countries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195211269, March.
  4. Moll, Peter G., 1993. "Industry wage differentials and efficiency wages : A dissenting view with South African evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 213-246, August.
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