At TRADE the flagship model is the Decision Support Model used to identify export opportunities. Earlier Prof Wilma Viviers wrote a nice piece for the Mail and Guardian on how the TRADE-DSM Navigator can be used to identify markets for South African fruit exports. The model identifies export opportunities in terms of products and markets and takes account of factors such as country risk, logistics costs, trade barriers and the market potential. You can read more about it here.
October is just flying and in the School of Economics we have been busy with the last few assessments and sorting out the participation marks ahead of the exam. We do have a few small bits of news.
Earlier this month Prof Derick Blaauw attended an ERSA workshop of the Micro-, Labour Economics and Poverty group in Ballito. The topic of the Workshop was the foundations of Labour Economics. During the Workshop prominent labour economists from UKZN, UCT and Stellenbosch University presented lectures on the essential foundations of labour economics. Topics covered included:
- Schooling and Earnings,
- Labour Demand,
- Labour Supply and
- Aggregate labour markets
This will form the foundation of future labour workshops, sponsored by ERSA.
Earlier this month two of the School’s Honours students participated in the Agbiz student case competition. Christian Schlotfeldt and Jan-Hendrik Strauss took on an agricultural economics topic, prepared their case and traveled to Somerset-West for the congress.
The rest of the story is from the Agbiz newsletter:
The Agbiz Student Case Competition was hosted during the Agbiz Congress. The competition provided an opportunity for sixteen top students from major universities across the country to compete in a contest where they had to analyse a real world case and to develop strategic recommendations for addressing key issues in the case.
Agricultural economics and agribusiness students were selected to participate in this initiative. They were divided into four teams which each received the same case, concerning the crisis situation of Sundays River Citrus Company (SRCC), operating in the citrus industry where citrus black spot (CBS) is threatening South Africa’s access to the EU market.
The teams presented their recommendations to a panel of judges and the two best teams presented to the congress in the final round. The congress voted for the best team.
“The competition was challenging and required us to think out if the box for innovative strategies,” says Ayanda Demana, student from the University of Pretoria. “In the final round we had to present to 250 congress attendees, which were the most people I have ever presented to. At first, I was nervous. However in the end I truly enjoyed it. It introduced me to public speaking on a grand scale.”
Over the past few weeks staff of the School of Economics presented papers at local and international conferences.
Prof Marianne Matthee presented a paper at the European Trade Studies Group (ETSG) conference in Munich, Germany. Her paper, with Neil Rankin of Stellenbosch University and Tom Ferole of the World Bank, examined the diversification of South Africa’s exports. Specifically, they looked at the intensive and extensive margin of exports and how these changed due to the global financial crisis.
If you want to catch up with some of the papers presented at the conference, have a look at the Storify of Prof Krugell’s tweets from the ETSG.
Locally Prof Derick Blaauw attended an Economic Research Southern Africa (ERSA) Research Workshop on SA Political Economy / Public Choice Economics at the Soweto Hotel and Conference Centre in Johannesburg from 18 – 19 September 2014. He was the co-author of a paper with Dr Christie Schoeman (UJ) of a paper entitled: How evolving uncertainty can lead to a constitutional crisis in a post-conflict society.