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.

The staff are keeping busy Reply

Along with all the graduation events and awards functions, the staff of the School of Economics have been busy attending workshops:

  • Chris Kapp kursusCarike Claassen, Alicia Fourie and Frans Dreyer attended a postgraduate supervision course presented by Prof Chris Kapp. They enjoyed a week at the west coast and learned a lot about how to help you through that dissertation or thesis.
  • Prof Ewert Kleynhans and Anmar Pretorius attended an ERSA workshop in Stellenbosch on the Economics of competition and industrial organisation.
  • Prof Andrea Saayman is attending an ERSA workshop in East London on public good games and experiments. (You can find out more about the ERSA workshops here)

This week on Thursday, Prof Wilma Viviers is hosting a WTO-TRADE Roundtable on the topic of global value chains and trade facilitation. Along with staff and students of the School, we will have two extraordinary Profs Ludo Cuyvers and Peet Strydom there, along with participants from Law, Engineering and Politics.

Degrees and achievers in the School of Economics Reply

Dear readers, the academic machine is humming softly and we have some news of degrees awarded and academic achievements in the School of Economics:

  • Last week saw graduation ceremonies on campus and students crossed the stage in the auditorium. Here are some numbers: 65 students received their degrees in Economics and International Trade, 33 in Economics and Risk Management and 12 in Economics, Risk and Investment Management. The Honours Bachelor of Commerce were awarded to 15 Economics students, 18 in International Trade and 23 in Risk Management.
  • On Friday evening there was an awards function for 2014’s top academic achievers. The prizes went to
    • The best undergraduate in Economics: Charn√© Olivier (prize by Rand Merchant Bank).
    • The best honours student in Economics: Heinrich Nel (prize by Treasury One)
    • The best undergraduate in Risk Management: Engela de Necker (prize by Vrystaat Mielies)
    • The best honours student in Risk Management: Marli Conj√© (prize by Senwes)
    • The best undergraduate in International Trade: Anuschka van Biljon (prize by ITRISA)
    • The best honours student in International Trade: Kyle Joubert (prize by CGIC)
    • The best MCom dissertation in the School: Christo Maritz (prize by KPMG)

Prof Wilma Viviers’ WTO chair also awarded a prize for the best dissertation on a World Trade Organisation topic and this went to Francois van Heerden.

Congratulations to the graduates and achievers and a special word of thanks to our industry partners – your support is much appreciated.

Resources for postgrads Reply

The 2015 class of Master’s degree and PhD students are out there reading and reading and getting those research proposals ready. Our previous resources post gave a few writing tips to go along with what they are learning at the writing school. This post has a few more links to keep you thinking:

  • Quartz had an interesting post that compares the style guides of Bloomberg News and The Economist. They throw in a few timeless rules at the end:
    • Never use a long word where a short one will do.
    • If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
    • Never use the passive where you can use the active.
    • Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
    • Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.
  • We also discovered this post on policy vs academic jobs in Economics. The differences in jobs also speaks to differences in how you would write for these audiences. Students are often excited about making practical contributions with their research, solving some problem out there in the real world. But a good dissertation or thesis will convince and impress other academics: novel perspectives or methods are at a premium. These days the direction of effect is everything. It is worth reading the post and thinking about what you are pitching at the colloquium.

In the next post we will have a few presentation tips and tricks.