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

Author/Editor: Subramanian, Arvind | Alleyne, Trevor Serge Coleridge
Authorized for Distribution: October 1, 2001
Electronic Access: Free Full Text (PDF file size is 1,535KB)
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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(s): Trade | South Africa | Labor supply | Labor markets
Author's keyword(s): South Africa | trade | factor intensity
 
English  
    Published:   October 1, 2001        
    ISBN/ISSN:   1934-7073   Format:   Paper
    Stock No:   WPIEA1482001   Pages:   26
    Price:   US$15.00
       
     
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