A firm level analysis of trade, technology and employment in South Africa

Abstract

This paper uses two firm level surveys, the National Enterprise (NE) survey and the Greater Johannesburg Metropolitan Area (GJMA) survey, to explore the implications of globalization for employment in South Africa. These relationships are explored using cross-tabulations and estimated labour demand functions. The paper finds that rising import penetration negatively affected employment in large firms, but not small firms. Relatively large declines in employment also occurred within export firms, despite improvements in export competitiveness and export growth through trade liberalization. Finally, the study finds that skill-biased and trade-induced technological change, as reflected in increased use of computers, foreign investment and the importation of raw material inputs, have raised the skill intensity of production.

Citation

Journal of International Development (2004) 16 (1) 45-61 [DOI: 10.1002/jid.1062]

A firm level analysis of trade, technology and employment in South Africa

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