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Industry Structure and Labour Market Flexibility in the South African Manufacturing Sector: A Time Series and Panel Data Approach

  • Johannes W. Fedderke
  • Andrew J Hill

Our investigation of industry structure in South African manufacturing reveals evidence of imperfect competition. We find an average mark-up of 50% for the period 1970 to 2004. Results suggest that there is no consistent trend in the mark-up over time. This paper extends the analysis of industry structure by linking it to labour market flexibility. We infer the proportion of labour cost that is fixed rather than flexible from the mark-up, and find that two thirds of total labour employed in South African manufacturing is devoted to fixed costs. We find that this proportion falls during the 1980s and rises during the 1990s, suggesting an increase in labour flexibility followed by a decrease.

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Paper provided by Economic Research Southern Africa in its series Working Papers with number 43.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rza:wpaper:43
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  1. Martin Wittenberg, 2002. "Job Search In South Africa: A Nonparametric Analysis," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 70(8), pages 1163-1196, December.
  2. Lawrence Edwards, 2005. "Has South Africa Liberalised Its Trade?," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 73(4), pages 754-775, December.
  3. Philippe Aghion & Matias Braun & Johannes Fedderke, 2007. "Competition and Productivity Growth in South Africa," Working Papers 54, Economic Research Southern Africa.
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  6. repec:fth:inseep:9645 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Philippe Aghion & Johannes Fedderke & Peter Howitt & Chandana Kularatne & Nicola Viegi, 2008. "Testing Creative Destruction in an Opening Economy : the Case of the South African Manufacturing Inudstries," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2008-23, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  8. Swamy, P A V B, 1970. "Efficient Inference in a Random Coefficient Regression Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 38(2), pages 311-23, March.
  9. Olivier Blanchard & Francesco Giavazzi, . "Macroeconomic effects of regulation and deregulation in goods and labor markets," Working Papers 187, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  10. Pesaran, M. Hashem & Smith, Ron, 1995. "Estimating long-run relationships from dynamic heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 79-113, July.
  11. S. Dobbelaere, 2003. "Joint Estimation of Price-Cost Margins and Union Bargaining Power for Belgian Manufacturing," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 03/171, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  12. McCallum, B T, 1970. "The Effect of Demand on Prices in British Manufacturing: Another View," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(1), pages 147-56, January.
  13. Geeta Kingdon & John Knight, 2005. "How Flexible are Wages in Response to Local Unemployment in South Africa?," Economics Series Working Papers GPRG-WPS-015, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  14. Abhijit Banerjee & Sebastian Galiani & Jim Levinsohn & Zoë McLaren & Ingrid Woolard, 2007. "Why Has Unemployment Risen in the New South Africa," NBER Working Papers 13167, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Roeger, Werner, 1995. "Can Imperfect Competition Explain the Difference between Primal and Dual Productivity Measures? Estimates for U.S. Manufacturing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(2), pages 316-30, April.
  16. Hausman, Jerry A, 1978. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1251-71, November.
  17. Johannes Fedderke, 2004. "Investment in Fixed Capital Stock: Testing for the Impact of Sectoral and Systemic Uncertainty," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 66(2), pages 165-187, 05.
  18. Pesaran, M. H. & Shin, Y. & Smith, R. J., 1996. "Testing for the 'Existence of a Long-run Relationship'," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9622, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  19. Johannes Fedderke & Chandana Kularatne & Martine Mariotti, 2007. "Mark-up Pricing in South African Industry," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 16(1), pages 28-69, January.
  20. Damien J. Neven & Lars-Hendrik Röller & Zhentang Zhang, 2002. "Endogenous Costs and Price-Cost Margins," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 294, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  21. Steven Dunaway & Lamin Leigh & Xiangming Li, 2009. "How Robust Are Estimates Of Equilibrium Real Exchange Rates: The Case Of China," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(3), pages 361-375, 08.
  22. Bughin, Jacques, 1996. "Trade Unions and Firms' Product Market Power," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 289-307, September.
  23. Rulof Burger & Ingrid Woolard, 2005. "The State of the Labour Market in South Africa after the First Decade of Democracy," SALDRU/CSSR Working Papers 133, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  24. J.W. Fedderke & E. Schaling, 2005. "Modelling Inflation In South Africa: A Multivariate Cointegration Analysis," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 73(1), pages 79-92, 03.
  25. Joaquim Oliveira Martins & Stefano Scarpetta, 1999. "The Levels and Cyclical Behaviour of Mark-ups Across Countries and Market Structures," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 213, OECD Publishing.
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