Tourism economics has an international visitor Reply

This week Prof Gang Li of the University of Surrey visited the TREES research area to collaborate with colleagues in the field of tourism economics.

Proff Andrea Saayman and Gang Li

Proff Andrea Saayman and Gang Li

Prof Li’s interests lie in the field of econometric modelling and forecasting of tourism demand. You can read more about his projects and publications on his Uni Surrey page.

In this he is also working with Prof Andrea Saayman who is busy with a forecasting project and supervising a number of students in this field.

This morning Prof Li presented a guest lecture at the ECON617 econometrics class on the topic of forecasting macro series with ARIMA models.

ECON111 has the top lecturer 1

Yesterday the Rapport Top Lecturer 2014 awards were made and Me Alicia Fourie of the School of Economics walked away with the prize for the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences at the Potchefstroom Campus.

Alicia and the Dean, Prof Susan

Alicia and the Dean, Prof Susan

The Rapport’s editor, Waldimar Pelser, explained that Rapport and the Media24 group are involved in education in many different ways. They support scholarships for students and awards for top lecturers. The competition asks students to vote for their most inspiring lecturer: the good teacher explains, the superior teacher demonstrates and the great teacher inspires!

Alicia teaches first-year Economics in both semesters and has become a bit of a legend, winning the prize for a third time this year. Her dedication to her teaching and care for her students in unmatched.

This year, she is also part of the innovators@work teaching project on campus, while finishing up her PhD on the economic literacy of first-year students. You can check out her Flipping Economics blog.

QE and the “taper tantrum” Reply

At last week’s seminar Mr Franz Ruch of the South African Reserve Bank spoke on the topic of the tapering of quantitative easing in the U.S. and what it means for monetary policy in developing countries like South Africa.

Franz RuchIt was a good opportunity to talk about all the things that you would read about in the econoblogosphere: QE, the global savings glut, secular stagnation, taper tantrum, austerity and the confidence fairy all under the heading of the macro wars. Franz’s analysis showed that there are many different channels through which capital flow reversals can influence the economy. Unfortunately there are not as many policy options:

  • Macro responses may include increased interest rates, foreign exchange interventions, or counter-cyclical fiscal policy.
  • Prudential responses may include stricter capital requirements for banks, limiting banks’ foreign exchange exposure, easing capital inflow regulations, or temporarily restricting capital outflows.
  • The ideal, of course, is structural reform to boost competitiveness and encourage FDI and exports.

You will also read about this in the media:

WTO-TRADE round table discussion Reply

On Thursday last week Prof Wilma Viviers hosted a WTO-TRADE round table discussion on Global Value Chains, export promotion and trade facilitation.

GVC round tableThe topic is inspired by recent work by Richard Baldwin and Marcel Timmer and their co-authors. The argument is that trade and industrialisation works differently in the era of fragmented production across global value chains and this holds implications for the export promotion and trade facilitation research done by the WTO-TRADE group.

The event included extraordinary Professors Peet Strydom and Ludo Cuyvers as well as colleagues from Economics, Agricultural economics, Law, Political science and Engineering. Prof Raymond Parsons of the Business School was also there and policymakers from the Department of Trade and Industry.

Prof Peet gave an overview of global value chains in South Africa and the many constraints that foreign and local firms in these networks face. Prof Ludo compared outward FDI promotion, inward FDI promotion and export promotion within the context of global value chains.

This blog will be reporting more about the research done by this group throughout the year.