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.