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Trade Technology and Employment: A case Study of South Africa

Author

Listed:
  • J. Paul Dunne

    () (School of Economics, University of the West of England)

  • Lawrence Edwards

    () (School of Economics, University of Cape Town)

Abstract

This paper provides a comprehensive analysis of the impact of trade on employment in South Africa. Firstly, it considers the correlation between trade liberalisation and factor demand in South African manufacturing during the 1990s. Secondly, it investigates the impact of trade on labour using a Chenery (1979) style decomposition technique, following Edwards (2001a, 2001b, 2005b) and Jenkins (2002). It develops the earlier work by exploring both the indirect and the indirect effects and investigating variations in the regional impact of trade on factor demand during the 1990s. This suggests that technological change accounts for the bulk of jobs lost in manufacturing during the 1990s. To investigate, whether this reflects exogenous technological change or trade-induced technological change requires undertaking an econometric analysis and this explores the impact of trade on technological change through an induced labour demand model. This finds a strong effect of exogenous technological progress but only limited evidence that increased trade flows and trade liberalisation induced improvements in labour productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • J. Paul Dunne & Lawrence Edwards, 2006. "Trade Technology and Employment: A case Study of South Africa," Working Papers 0602, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwe:wpaper:0602
    as

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    File URL: http://carecon.org.uk/DPs/0602.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2006
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lawrence Edwards & Alberto Behar, 2005. "Trade liberalisation and labour demand within South African manufacturing firms," Working Papers 06, Economic Research Southern Africa.
    2. Nina Pavcnik, 2002. "Trade Liberalization, Exit, and Productivity Improvements: Evidence from Chilean Plants," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 245-276.
    3. By Gunnar Jonsson & Arvind Subramanian, 2001. "Dynamic Gains from Trade: Evidence from South Africa," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 48(1), pages 1-8.
    4. Robert E. Baldwin, 1995. "The Effects of Trade and Foreign Direct Investment on Employment and Relative Wages," NBER Working Papers 5037, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Berman, Eli & Machin, Stephen, 2000. "Skill-Based Technology Transfer around the World," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(3), pages 12-22, Autumn.
    6. H. Bhorat & J. Hodge, 1999. "Decomposing Shifts in Labour Demand in South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 67(3), pages 155-168, September.
    7. Lawrence Edwards, 2004. "A firm level analysis of trade, technology and employment in South Africa," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(1), pages 45-61.
    8. Jonathan E. Haskel & Matthew J. Slaughter, 1998. "Does the Sector Bias of Skill-Biased Technical Change Explain Changing Wage Inequality?," NBER Working Papers 6565, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Lawrence Edwards & Phil Alves, 2006. "South Africa'S Export Performance: Determinants Of Export Supply," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 74(3), pages 473-500, September.
    10. Greenaway, David & Hine, Robert C. & Wright, Peter, 1999. "An empirical assessment of the impact of trade on employment in the United Kingdom," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 485-500, September.
    11. Eli Berman & John Bound & Zvi Griliches, 1994. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within U. S. Manufacturing: Evidence from the Annual Survey of Manufactures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 367-397.
    12. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 7-72, March.
    13. Matthew J. Slaughter, 1998. "What Are the Results of Product-Price Studies and What Can We Learn From Their Differences?," NBER Working Papers 6591, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Arvind Subramanian & Trevor Serge Coleridge Alleyne, 2001. "What Does South Africa's Pattern of Trade Say About its Labor Markets?," IMF Working Papers 01/148, International Monetary Fund.
    15. Mathias Thoenig & Thierry Verdier, 2003. "A Theory of Defensive Skill-Biased Innovation and Globalization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 709-728, June.
    16. L Edwards, 2001. "Globalisation And The Skills Bias Of Occupational Employment In South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 69(1), pages 40-71, March.
    17. Edward E. Leamer, 1996. "In Search of Stolper-Samuelson Effects on U.S. Wages," NBER Working Papers 5427, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Lawrence Edwards & StephenS. Golub, 2003. "South African Productivity And Capital Accumulation In Manufacturing: An International Comparative Analysis," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 71(4), pages 659-678, December.
    19. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1997. "Learning by Trading and the Returns to Human Capital in Developing Countries," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 11(1), pages 17-32, January.
    20. Edwards, Lawrence & Golub, Stephen S., 2004. "South Africa's International Cost Competitiveness and Exports in Manufacturing," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1323-1339, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Adekunle, Ademola & Osazuwa, Peter & Raghavan, Vijaya, 2016. "Socio-economic determinants of agricultural mechanisation in Africa: A research note based on cassava cultivation mechanisation," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 313-319.
    2. Fiandeiro, M. Fatima & Rankin, Neil A., 2008. "Trade liberalisation and wages in South African manufacturing," MPRA Paper 17066, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Haroon Bhorat & Karmen Naidoo & Morné Oosthuizen & Kavisha Pillay, 2015. "Demographic, employment, and wage trends in South Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series 141, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. Ebru Voyvoda, 2009. "Sources of Structural Change and its Impact on Interdependence: An Input-Output Perspective for The Post-1980 Turkish Economy," Working Papers 507, Economic Research Forum, revised Dec 2009.
    5. Bishwanath Goldar, 2009. "Impact of Trade on Employment Generation in Manufacturing in India," Trade Working Papers 22921, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.

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    Keywords

    Trade; technology; employment; industrial panel;

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