What Does South Africa's Pattern of Trade Say About its Labor Markets?

Author/Editor:

Arvind Subramanian ; Trevor Serge Coleridge Alleyne

Publication Date:

October 1, 2001

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate

Summary:

This paper examines the factor intensity of South Africa's trade. The conclusion is that South Africa is revealed though its trade pattern to be capital abundant (relative to labor). Surprisingly, this result holds especially for South Africa's trade with its high income partners, which should presumably have been more capital-rich than South Africa. Moreover, this revealed capital intensity of South African production was not reversed during the 1990s after the dismantling of apartheid. This favoring of capital use, against the background of high and rising under-utilization of the country's labor resources, raises questions about the functioning of South Africa's labor market institutions.

Series:

Working Paper No. 01/148

Subject:

English

Publication Date:

October 1, 2001

ISBN/ISSN:

9781451856828/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA1482001

Price:

$15.00 (Academic Rate:$15.00)

Format:

Paper

Pages:

25

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