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South Africa's Export Predicament

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  • Hausmann, Ricardo

    (Harvard U)

  • Klinger, Bailey

Abstract

This paper explores export performance in South Africa over the past 50 years, and concludes that a lagging process of structural transformation is part of the explanation for stagnant exports per capita. Slow structural transformation in South Africa is found to be a consequence of the peripheral nature of South Africa’s productive capabilities. We apply new tools to evaluate South Africa’s future prospects for structural transformation, as well as to explore the sectoral priorities of the DTI’s draft industrial strategy. We then discuss policy conclusions, advocating an ‘open-architecture’ industrial policy where the methods applied herein are but one tool to screen private sector requests for sector-specific coordination and public goods. [Jointly published as Center for International Development Working Paper No. 129 and KSG Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP06-040.]

Suggested Citation

  • Hausmann, Ricardo & Klinger, Bailey, 2006. "South Africa's Export Predicament," Working Paper Series rwp06-040, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp06-040
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    File URL: https://research.hks.harvard.edu/publications/workingpapers/citation.aspx?PubId=4122&type=WPN
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert C. Feenstra & Robert E. Lipsey & Haiyan Deng & Alyson C. Ma & Hengyong Mo, 2005. "World Trade Flows: 1962-2000," NBER Working Papers 11040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Hausmann, Ricardo & Rodrik, Dani, 2003. "Economic development as self-discovery," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 603-633, December.
    3. Jaffe, Adam B, 1986. "Technological Opportunity and Spillovers of R&D: Evidence from Firms' Patents, Profits, and Market Value," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 984-1001, December.
    4. Ricardo Hausmann & Dani Rodrik & Charles F. Sabel, 2008. "Reconfiguring Industrial Policy: A Framework with an Application to South Africa," CID Working Papers 168, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    5. Ricardo Hausmann & Jason Hwang & Dani Rodrik, 2007. "What you export matters," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 1-25, March.
    6. Ricardo Hausmann & Bailey Klinger, 2007. "The Structure of the Product Space and the Evolution of Comparative Advantage," CID Working Papers 146, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    7. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1993. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 577-598.
    8. Kenneth J. Arrow, 1962. "The Economic Implications of Learning by Doing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(3), pages 155-173.
    9. C. A. Hidalgo & B. Klinger & A. -L. Barabasi & R. Hausmann, 2007. "The Product Space Conditions the Development of Nations," Papers 0708.2090, arXiv.org.
    10. Ricardo Hausmann & Bailey Klinger, 2006. "Structural Transformation and Patterns of Comparative Advantage in the Product Space," CID Working Papers 128, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    11. David de Ferranti & Guillermo E. Perry & Daniel Lederman & William E. Maloney, 2002. "From Natural Resources to the Knowledge Economy : Trade and Job Quality," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14040, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ricardo Hausmann & Jasmina Chauvin, 2015. "Moving to the Adjacent Possible: Discovering Paths for Export Diversification in Rwanda," CID Working Papers 294, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    2. Berhanu Abegaz, 2008. "The Speed Of Structural Convergence In The Manufacturing Industries Of Newly Industrialising Economies," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 76(s2), pages 89-109, August.
    3. Jørn Rattsø & Hildegunn e. Stokke, 2007. "A Growth Model For South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 75(4), pages 616-630, December.
    4. Rattsø, Jørn & Stokke, Hildegunn E., 2012. "Trade policy in a growth model with technology gap dynamics and simulations for South Africa," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 1042-1056.
    5. Berhanu Abegaz, 2007. "The Speed of Structural Convergence in the Manufacturing Industries of Newly Industrializing Economies," Working Papers 67, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
    6. Sandra Poncet & Felipe Starosta de Waldemar, 2015. "Product Relatedness and Firm Exports in China," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 29(3), pages 579-605.
    7. 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.
    8. Jørn Rattsø & Hildegunn E. Stokke, 2009. "Trade barriers to growth in South Africa: Endogenous investment-productivity-trade interaction," DEGIT Conference Papers c014_010, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
    9. Ricardo Hausmann & Bailey Klinger, 2009. "Erratum," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 17(1), pages 211-212, January.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F19 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Other

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