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Real Wage, Labor Productivity, and Employment Trends in South Africa; A Closer Look

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  • Nir Klein

Abstract

The paper looks at the dynamics of employment in South Africa and examines the factors that contributed to the job-shedding observed during the recent financial crisis. The paper finds that the rapid growth of the real wage, which outpaced the labor productivity growth in most sectors, played an important role in suppressing employment creation. The paper also finds that while there is a co-integrating link between the real wage and labor productivity, the deviations from equilibrium are persistent and thus contribute to a weak link between real wage growth and labor productivity growth in the short term. This finding is also supported by a cross-country analysis, which shows that in South Africa the link between the real wage and labor productivity is substantially weaker than in other emerging markets, even after controlling for labor market tightness indicators.

Suggested Citation

  • Nir Klein, 2012. "Real Wage, Labor Productivity, and Employment Trends in South Africa; A Closer Look," IMF Working Papers 12/92, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:12/92
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Junankar, P.N. & Madsen, J.B., 1996. "Unemployment in the OECD: models and mysteries," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 9648, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
    2. Love, Inessa & Zicchino, Lea, 2006. "Financial development and dynamic investment behavior: Evidence from panel VAR," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 190-210, May.
    3. Bentolila Samuel & Saint-Paul Gilles, 2003. "Explaining Movements in the Labor Share," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-33, October.
    4. Soo Khoon Goh & Koi Nyen Wong, 2010. "Analyzing the Productivity-Wage-Unemployment Nexus in Malaysia: Evidence from the Macroeconomic Perspective," Monash Economics Working Papers 12-10, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    5. Saten Kumar & Don J. Webber & Geoff Perry, 2012. "Real wages, inflation and labour productivity in Australia," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(23), pages 2945-2954, August.
    6. JW Fedderke & Martine Mariotti, 2002. "Changing Labour Market Conditions In South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 70(5), pages 830-864, June.
    7. Blanchflower, David G & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Estimating a Wage Curve for Britain: 1973-90," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(426), pages 1025-1043, September.
    8. Michael Bruno & Jeffrey D. Sachs, 1985. "Economics of Worldwide Stagflation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number brun85-1, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Dieter von Fintel, 2016. "Wage flexibility in a high unemployment regime: spatial heterogeneity and the size of local labour markets," Working Papers 09/2016, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    2. Dieter von Fintel, 2017. "Institutional wage-setting, labour demand and labour supply: Causal estimates from a South African pseudo-panel," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(1), pages 1-16, January.
    3. International Monetary Fund, 2013. "South Africa; 2013 Article IV Consultation," IMF Staff Country Reports 13/303, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Vincent Dadam & Nicola Viegi, 2015. "Labour Market and Monetary Policy in South Africa," Working Papers 201569, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    5. repec:eee:rujoec:v:3:y:2017:i:4:p:411-424 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Chaido Dritsaki, 2016. "Real wages, inflation, and labor productivity: Evidences from Bulgaria and Romania," Journal of Economic and Financial Studies (JEFS), LAR Center Press, vol. 4(5), pages 24-36, October.

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