The weekly free lunch Reply

If you lost track of the news stories this week, our Weekly free lunch post will keep you updated.

This week the WFL is in two parts:

  • On the South African side we found some insightful analysis of the events at Marikana.
  • Internationally the news is all about the US economy and what Ben “helicopter” Bernanke will announce at this weekend’s meeting at Jackson Hole.

You can read all these stories on our page.

Nuus uit die Skool 1

Daar is ‘n hele paar nuus-hoogtepunte uit die Skool vir Ekonomie hierdie week:

  • Die WorkWell navorsingseenheid is ekstern ge-evalueer en talle van die personeellede van die Skool het sessies saam met evalueringspaneel gehad.
  • Requier, Henri en Carike in die ring by UJ

    Buitengewone Professor Gary van Vuuren was hier en het Risikobestuurklasse gegee en met nagraadse studente en personeel vergader oor navorsing.

  • Dr Henri Bezuidenhout, Carike Claassen en Requier Wait het vandag ‘n seminaar by die Universiteit van Johannesburg bygewoon.  Dit het gegaan oor Sjina se rol in Afrika en daar was ‘n goeie gesprek met Prof Stephen Gelb.
  • Carli Jacobs en Antoinette van Niekerk was by die laaste been van hulle ITC opleiding in Pretoria.
  • Prof Krugell het dinge kwytgeraak oor voedselprysinflasie op RSG se Spektrum program.

Saam met al die werksnuus is ons ook bly om te skryf dat Prof Marianne Matthee se dogterjie, Leah, Dinsdag gebore is.


RPP Guest post 1

RPP is our code for the weekly blog post, op-ed by the School’s celebrity economist / pundit / opinionista, but he will probably only start writing in August, so in the meantime we are filling in with some guest posts.

This week Waldo Krugell on South Africa as a NLC (Newly Latinamericanized Country):

During the past week the blogosphere has filled with analysis and interpretation of the recent events at Marikana. A labour dispute at Lonmin’s platinum mine turned into violent protest and escalated into the shooting of 34 miners by police. Since then a commission of enquiry has been appointed and there has been some effective politicking by former ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema. Pundits have asked whether this will be President Zuma’s Sharpeville and cartoonist Zapiro asked South Africans to set their clocks back 30 years.

At the same time we (well, mostly I) have been reading Acemoglu and Robinson’s new book Why Nations Fail in the ECON623 course. Now, the aim is not to do thorough analysis of the meaning of Marikana, or of the book in this post, but I do have a few ideas to voice and questions to ask. More…

Research: Agglomeration and firm-level efficiency Reply

Our Research posts are about the latest academic research being done in the School of Economics. This week:


by Waldo Krugell & Neil Rankin (Wits)

Economic activity has dimensions of density and distance.  Cities are characterised by external economies that benefit firms through access to a pool of labour and specialised suppliers of intermediate inputs.  Also, cities host spillovers from infrastructure and the sharing of ideas and technology, while home-market effects expand the process of agglomeration.  Our paper asks whether location can explain differences in the efficiency of South African manufacturers.  Understanding the significance of location may be important for the spatial inequality that characterises economic activity in South Africa and the implications that this has for policies and institutions. More…