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The employment effects of mergers in a declining industry: the case of South African gold mining

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  • Alberto Behar
  • James Hodge

Abstract

An industry in decline provides an appropriate setting for the theory that mergers and acquisitions destroy implicit contracts and allow for the shedding of excess labour. We test this theory using provincial data from the South African gold mining industry, which has been in decline over the last two decades. Our data clearly portray rises in real wages and falling employment after the end of apartheid and our econometric results are remarkably consistent with standard labour demand theory. We find evidence of a significant negative effect of mergers/acquisitions on employment of a magnitude similar to that found for Continental Europe. This supports the view that negative employment effects are more likely in rigid labour markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Alberto Behar & James Hodge, 2007. "The employment effects of mergers in a declining industry: the case of South African gold mining," Economics Series Working Papers 335, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:335
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Oliver Budzinski & Jürgen-Peter Kretschmer, 2009. "Horizontal Mergers, Involuntary Unemployment, and Welfare," MAGKS Papers on Economics 200907, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    2. Alberto Behar, 2015. "Comparing the Employment-Output Elasticities of Expatriates and Nationals in the Gulf Cooperation Council," IMF Working Papers 15/191, International Monetary Fund.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labour Demand; Mergers; Gold Industry;

    JEL classification:

    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • L72 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - Mining, Extraction, and Refining: Other Nonrenewable Resources

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