ERSA Economic History workshop Reply

Carike Claassen and Derick Blaauw attended an ERSA Research Workshop of the Economic history group in Cape Town on 22 January 2016 with the title: “What church records can tell us about economic development”

The Workshop venue was well chosen as the Lutheran Church, Cape Town.

ERSA 2016

Some original art from the workshop!

The rationale for the workshop was stated as follows on the invitation: “Because colonial sources often lack adequate information about the lived experience of Africans, quantitative economic historians that are interested in the African experience are forced to find creative ways to identify the effects of colonial policies. Church records at the individual level provide one such recourse.”

The keynote speaker was Dr. Felix Meier zu Selhausen from the University of Southern Denmark. He shared his experiences of collecting, digitising and transcribing Anglican parish records in eight African countries, and the remarkable results he has obtained from these records.  The data informed a rich line of research in terms of social mobility studies and other interesting topics. The workshop aimed at setting a future research agenda for similar work for South Africa and data sources that are still to be utilised in the region.

Follow the link to this on-going project and some of the papers in this field: The economic history of Christian Africa.

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.

Latest Economic Research – The South African labour market, 1995-2013 Reply

This post about new research presents work by Lyle, Kasongo, Moses and Yu recently published as an ERSA working paper. The focus is on developments in the South African labour market since the end of Apartheid.

Developments in the South African labour market since the end of Apartheid is a popular field of study. The labour market has played a significant role in shaping not only the economy, but the society as a whole. In the past it was used as a mechanism to separate the population along racial lines. Apartheid legislation limited the education of non-whites, thereby predetermining the occupations they could occupy (non-skilled and low paid jobs only).

Since 1994, a host of legislative changes have thankfully taken place. These changes have been aimed at redressing past wrongs and imbalances, by outlining the rights of labourers, providing a minimum standard of working conditions and, encouraging the employment of more non-white workers, thereby beginning to redress and reduce the social inequalities so inherent to South African society.

Unemployment 1aMany studies have considered the initial impacts of these new policies and the changes to the SA labour market immediately after the end of Apartheid (first 10 years), but this latest study has continued the analysis up to 2013. They claim that the biggest challenge to the SA labour market remains the persistently high levels of unemployment which continue to plague the SA economy. More…

Conference news Reply

Over the past few weeks staff of the School of Economics presented papers at local and international conferences.

Marianne by ETSG

Prof Marianne Matthee presented a paper at the European Trade Studies Group (ETSG) conference in Munich, Germany. Her paper, with Neil Rankin of Stellenbosch University and Tom Ferole of the World Bank, examined the diversification of South Africa’s exports. Specifically, they looked at the intensive and extensive margin of exports and how these changed due to the global financial crisis.

If you want to catch up with some of the papers presented at the conference, have a look at the Storify of Prof Krugell’s tweets from the ETSG.

Locally Prof Derick Blaauw attended an Economic Research Southern Africa (ERSA) Research Workshop on SA Political Economy / Public Choice Economics at the Soweto Hotel and Conference Centre in Johannesburg from 18 – 19 September 2014. He was the co-author of a paper with Dr Christie Schoeman (UJ) of a paper entitled: How evolving uncertainty can lead to a constitutional crisis in a post-conflict society.