The reintegration of the South African economy into the global economy and its influence on (un)employment in the post-apartheid era

Koen Smet

Publication: ThesisDoctoral thesis

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The present thesis examines the trade structure of South Africa as well as the impact of this structure on (un)employment. The starting point of this work is a descriptive analysis of the South African trade structure. Besides a general discussion, the thesis elaborates on structural differences with respect to the European Union, China and the Southern African Development Community. The insights of this analysis are used to develop a three-dimensional trade model. However, this model does not consider unemployment. Therefore, South African labour market rigidities are examined in the next step. The frictions on the labour market are introduced into the trade model as a binding minimum wage. Within this theoretical framework it is shown that the reintegration of South Africa into the world economy did increase unemployment. To conclude the theoretical hypotheses are tested empirically. The econometric results support the predictions of the three-dimensional trade model.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • WU Vienna
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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