This morning PhD degrees were awarded and the School of Economics is particularly proud to have had two candidates at this autumn ceremony. Congratulations to Dr Ferdinand Niyimbanira and Dr Noleen Sithole-Pisa and their promotors.
In his thesis, Who are the good Samaritans? An analysis of volunteers and volunteerism in South Africa, Ferdinand examines the economic models used to explain volunteering. The relationship between income and volunteering is determined by an income or substitution effect. If there is a substitution effect, higher wages will lead to a decrease in volunteer work. If there is an income effect, higher wages means that an individual can work fewer hours to earn the same income as before, and spend the time volunteering. In contrast, the investment model states that individuals volunteer as an investment in human capital. Data from the Volunteer Activities Survey were used to test these models and the results show evidence of an income effect and an investment motive.
In her thesis, Identifying industrial clusters for competitiveness: Policy implications for economic development in the North West Province of South Africa, Noleen applied the structural path analysis and power of pull methods to identify and prioritise ten industrial clusters as the basis for a strategy to enhance firm competitiveness. She makes a substantive contribution by demonstrating the effects of such a strategy on regional economic development, and highlighting how firms in the province can grow their businesses and become more competitive through industrial cluster formation.
Our Research posts are about the latest academic research being done in the School of Economics. This week:
Policy and casual work: insights from the men by the side of the road
by Derick Blaauw & Waldo Krugell
Day labourers are a significant and visible component of informal employment in South Africa. The post examines the role of day labouring, the characteristics of day labourers and whether skills or location matter for earnings. We find that day labouring in South Africa has a survivalist character, providing low and uncertain wages and little prospect for regular employment. Higher levels of education, vocational training and being hired by the same employer more frequently are all positively related to earnings. Workers who report that they do a greater variety of jobs, also earn more. However, when we look at workers in the metropolitan areas, doing many different jobs means lower earnings. Compared to everywhere else, the thicker metropolitan labour market allows workers to become more specialised and productive, and this translates into higher wages. Thus, policies aimed at addressing unemployment and underemployment should also integrate issues of urban transformation, infrastructure development and local service delivery. More…
Last week the Risk Management lecturers attended the African Finance Journal conference in Durban and presented their latest research on markets, investment and hedging. The titles of the papers were:
Frans Dreyer, Andre Heymans and Chris van Heerden @ AFJ
Frans Dreyer, Dr Chris van Heerden and Susari Geldenhuys; “Timing a hedge decision: The development of a composite technical indicator for white maize”
Dr Chris van Heerden and Dr Andre Heymans; ” The applicability of the JSE Top 40 as an international investment option: A risk-adjusted evaluation”
Dr Andre Heymans and Wayne Brewer; ” Measuring the relationship between indtraday returns, volatility spill-overs and market beta during financial distress”
Congratulations team Risk Management!
In some breaking news, Prof Wilma Viviers of the TRADE research niche area heard this afternoon that TRADE has been awarded a World Trade Organisation (WTO) Chair!
TRADE team celebrating
The WTO Chairs Programme aims to support and promote trade-related academic activities by universities and research institutions in developing and least-developed countries. In the first phase of the programme fourteen institutions world-wide were selected to host Chairs for a period of four years. Now, in phase two, only seven were selected and TRADE is one of them – any the only one in Africa. For the research niche area this means some additional external funding, research and training opportunities, as well as links to a prestigious global network.
You can read more about the WTO Chairs Programme here.
Congratulations to Prof Viviers and her hard working team from the School of Economics and the subject group Agricultural Economics.