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The Seychelles Labor Market

This report, produced as a background paper to the World Bank Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD), provides a detailed overview of the Seychelles labor market. It emphasizes the relationship between changes to the overall structure of the economy a…

Poverty, Inequality and the Nature of Economic Growth in South Africa

"The first key purpose of this paper then is to extend the discussion and debate to the first decade of democracy by utilising and analysing the Income and Expenditure Survey (IES) of 2005. With the IES 2005 we are, for first time, able to provide a…

Monitoring the Performance of the South African Labour Market

"Since the recession of 2009, economic growth in South Africa has only exceeded four percent per annum three times (in 2010Q1, 2010Q4 and 2011Q1). In fact, growth was below four percent in seven consecutive quarters since 2011Q2 and, in 2013Q1, was …

Employment Outcomes and Returns to Earnings in Post Apartheid South Africa

"This paper attempts to understand some of the key drivers of employment and earnings trends within the South African labour market in the 15 years following the demise of apartheid. A number of factors are discussed which feature in the understandi…

Economic Policy in South Africa, Past Present and Future

With the end of Apartheid in 1994 a new beginning was promised for South Africa. Herewith included was political freedom and inclusive development for all South Africans. This overview focusses on the economic record and the economic prospects of p…

Minimum Wages in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Primer

In Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)most countries have adopted minimum wage regulation. Although the sectors and fraction of workers covered are small, given the low rates of formality and urbanization in SSA, (i) as the number of covered workers grows, wa…

Labour and Unemployment in South Africa: Notes Towards a “Grand Bargain”

"The problematic is very clear: high unemployment, high inequality and low growth, combined with a lack of consensus on what to do. The last point is important. There is no shortage of specific actual policies and interventions, as well as specific…

Can Africa Compete with China in Manufacturing? The Role of Relative Unit Labor Costs

This paper examined the bilateral trade and cost competitiveness in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) with China. Patterns are reviewed of bilateral trade between SSA and China, showing an extraordinary imbalance in the structure of trade, in that China over…

Informality and Inclusive Growth in Sub Saharan Africa

The connection between informality and the inclusiveness of economic growth is quite complex and varies in different contexts. Firstly, the authors find that the informal sector promotes inclusive growth through providing an alternative to unemplo…

The South African Township Economy and Informal Micro - Enterprises : What are the Prospects for Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship?

Most youth will need to find employment in the informal sector, if they want to be employed. Yet data on labour force participation indicates that youth are not widely active in self-employed activities or informally employed in micro-enterprises. W…

The Post-Apartheid South African Labour Market

"This paper provides an analysis of some of the important changes that have occurred in the South African labour market since 1994. The paper presents the broad changes in employment, unemployment and labour force participation, finding substantial …

Costing, Comparing and Competing Developing an Approach to the Benchmarking of Labour Market Regulation

"The World Bank’s ‘Doing Business’ survey seeks to measure and compare the costs to business of various types of regulation, including labour regulation. As such it is an important driver of labour market ‘reform’ globally and in South Africa. It ma…

Estimating the Impact of Minimum Wages on Employment, Wages and Non-Wage Benefits: The Case of Agriculture in South Africa

"Assessments of the impact of minimum wages on labour market outcomes in Africa are relatively rare. In part this is because the data available do not permit adequate treatment of econometric issues that arise in such an assessment. This paper attem…

Labour Reform in South Africa: Measuring Regulation and a Synthesis of Policy Suggestions

"Even though the South African economy is formally categorised as an upper-middle income country, it has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world. The economy’s unemployment rate stands officially at 26.7 per cent and 38.8 per cent. This c…

Poverty and ‘Second Economy’ in South Africa: An Attempt to Clarify Applicable Concepts and Quantify Extent of Relevant Challenges

"In brief, the paper firstly summarises old and new theoretical and technical issues on measuring poverty, secondly analyses poverty from different perspectives and highlights various research findings on poverty trends in South Africa and thirdly…

What are the Potential Benefits and Pitfalls of a Free Trade Area in the Southern African Region

"Integration can take many forms and as such, the question necessarily arises; is a free trade area the ideal mechanism for the Southern African region? Even if it is the ideal mechanism in a theoretical sense, is the Southern African Development …

Is Macroeconomic Policy Convergence Necessary for a Sustainable SADC Free Trade Area?

"The aim of this paper is to determine if macroeconomic policy convergence among member countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is required for establishing and sustaining a free trade area (FTA). The paper also investigates…

What are the Major Trends and Determinants of Foreign Direct Investment in SADC Countries?

"The 1990s witnessed an investment trend involving African firms investing in other African countries, notably from South Africa and Mauritius. This represents a clear indication of a new form of cross-border economic interaction. Privatisation has …

Foreign Investment in the SADC

"This paper explores some of the key issues related to FDI in Southern Africa. It takes a look at comparative patterns and trends of investment flows in developing regions (including the SADC). In addition, an account of the institutional and regula…

The Southern African Regional Clothing and Textile Industry: Case Studies of Malawi, Mauritius and Zimbabwe

"In the regional context, the SADC Trade and Investment Protocol - that is intended to further liberalise intra-regional trade in Southern Africa - has set in motion a wave of new opportunities and threats for clothing and textile firms in the regio…

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