4,467 research outputs found

    Evaluating the Performance of South African Economics Departments

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    Over the past decade economics departments in South Africa have seen major changes and a certain level of disruption. Much of this can be attributed to the integration of our discipline into the global arena after a period of academic isolation. This paper presents a survey of economics departments and covers everything from staff profiles and qualifications, to curricula, and research output. This paper indicates that there has been some improvement in the state of economics at South African universities since 2003 when the previous survey was conducted. Research output is largely up as is the proportion in international journals and more researchers are producing in leading international economics publications. However, the gap between South African economics departments and their international counterparts remains large.Economics Departments, South Africa, rankings

    Fractionalization and Lon-Run Economic Growth: Webs and Direction of Association between the Economic and the Social - South Africa as a Time Series Case Study

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    Recent cross sectional growth studies have found that ethnolinguistic fractionalization is an important explanatory variable of long-run growth performance. In the present paper we follow the call of earlier studies to conduct a more detailed clinical analysis of the growth experience of a specific country. South Africa constitutes an interesting case in which to explore these questions. The results of this study provide important nuance to the existing body of evidence. We find that fractionalization is subject to strong change over time. In addition, we find strong evidence of webs of association between the various social, political and institutional dimensions. Thus various forms of social cleavage tend to go hand in hand which presents the danger of spurious inference of association. Further, the direction of association in the preponderance of cases runs from economic to social, political and institutional variables, rather than the other way around. However, there remain significant impacts from some, but only some fractionalization indexes on economic growth. Which social cleavage, when, how and for what period of time will depend on the historical path of specific societies.

    Does Human Generate Social and Institutional Capital? Exploring Evidence from Time Series Data in a Middle Income Country

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    This paper presents an analysis of the interaction of human capital investment and the development of social and political institutions. We find that human capital matters - for growth through its quality dimension; for distributional conflict by raising political aspirations. But human capital does not stand alone either. The level of economic development (output) matters, distributional (instability) conflict as well as the rights dispensation can come to influence human capital investment decisions in their own right. Social, human capital, political as well as economic dimensions are densely interwoven in webs of association.Human capital investment, fractionalization, social and political dimensions of economic growth, South Africa

    Factors Influencing Foreign Direct Investment of South African Financial Services Firms in Sub-Saharan Africa

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    This research investigates the key elements that South African financial services firms consider before making foreign direct investments in Sub-Saharan African (SSA) markets. The results show that South African financial services firms are most strongly influenced by the political and economic stability of the country in question as well as the profitability and long-term sustainability of its specific markets. The degree of available infrastructure in terms of Information and Communication Technology as well as the existence of credible financial systems was also viewed as highly important considerations affecting investment decisions in SSA. Given the uncertainty and ambiguity of most SSA markets, many South African financial services firms prefer to enter existing markets via a majority stakeholder joint venture with a local partner or via a new investment if the market does not currently exist. The nature of the financial services firm also seems to influence the entry method and once in a new country, most firms seem to prefer a full service presence. Additionally, the key motives cited for expansion northward were to broaden revenue bases and improve profit margins as well as to stay close to local customers.Foreign Direct Investment, Financial Services, Sub Saharan Africa

    Foreign Direct Investment and the Internationalisation of South African Mining Companies into Africa

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    The paper investigates the factors influencing the internationalisation of mining firms into Africa and the strategies employed. We focus on the FDI of South African mining firms because of the dominance of this country in the extractive resources industry for over a century. A semi-structured interview survey process consisting of written questionnaires and one-on-one interviews that incorporated both structured as well as open-ended questions was used. The structured questionnaire attempted to identify the entry-mode characteristics of the mining firms as well as the importance of the factors influencing the internationalisation of mining firms. The open-ended questionnaire was designed to be probing in nature, in order to identify how mining companies manage the factors deemed present in an operational context. More than 80% of South African mining firms by market capitalisation provided responses to the survey. The research revealed that security of tenure, political stability and the availability of infrastructure were the three most important factors influencing the internationalisation of South African mining firms out of the nine factors tested in the survey. The most widespread strategies used to manage these factors were political lobbying, bargaining and negotiation.Theory of FDI and the MNE (Ownership-Location-Internalization), Mining, Africa, Factor Analysis, Incorporating Country Variables

    An Economic Analysis of Sports Performance in Africa

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    The purpose of this study is to develop insight into the socio-economic determinants of African sports performance. Previous studies have argued that a country’s success in sports is directly related to the economic resources that are available for those sports. However, factors that are used to determine the levels of success for developed countries are not necessarily the same, or bear the same weight, as for developing countries. The premise of this study is to identify specific factors that increase success in sports in developing countries by means of several econometric specifications, using cross-sectional data for African countries. This study finds evidence that suggests that Africa’s performance in sports is dependent on a range of socioeconomic factors, which in some respects confirms worldwide studies, but also adds significant nuance.Sports performance, economic determinants, Africa

    The Political Economy of Institutions, Stability and Investment: a simultaneous equation approach in an emerging economy – the case of South Africa

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    The modern theory of investment identities the importance of uncertainty to investment. A number of empirical studies have tested the theory on South African time series, employing political instability measures as proxies for uncertainty. This paper verifies that political instability measures are required in the formulation of the investment function for South Africa. It also establishes that there are distinct institutional factors that influence the uncertainty variable such as property rights and crime levels. We find that rising income and property rights lower political instability, and that rising crime levels are positively related to political instability. The inference is that political instability in South Africa may not represent uncertainty directly, since it is systematically related to a set of determinants. Instead, uncertainty would have to be understood as being related to a broader institutional nexus that in concert may generate uncertainty for investors.

    Determinants of Foreign Direct Investment of South African Telecommunications Firms into Sub-Saharan Africa

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    The study investigates the main factors considered by South African telecommunications firms when making a decision to undertake Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). This encompasses the reasons for investing, the methods of entry into the identified market and the factors influencing their decision. The methodology employs a survey questionnaire which was sent to telecommunication firms representing more than 70% of the revenue generated by this sector in SSA. The research reveals that market size, regulatory environment and government policy are the three most important factors influencing the decision to undertake FDI. Furthermore, the main reasons for deciding to enter SSA are for market and profit growth due to saturation in their existing markets, as well as for diversification of risk. Telecommunications firms wishing to enter SSA must be prepared for an unstable and uncertain policy environment and understand that the cost of starting a new venture in SSA is high.Telecommunications Africa FDI

    Snake eels (Ophichthidae) of the remote St. Peter and St. Paul’s Archipelago (Equatorial Atlantic) : Museum records after 37 years of shelf life

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    Despite of its major zoogeographical interest, the biological diversity of central Atlantic oceanic islands are still poorly known because of its remoteness. Incomplete species inventories are a hindrance to macroecology and conservation because knowledge on species distribution are important for identifying patterns and processes in biodiversity and for conservation planning. Records of the snake-eel family Ophichthidae for the St. Peter and St. Paul’s Archipelago, Brazil, are presented for the first time after revision of material collected and deposited in a museum collection 37 yrs ago. Specimens of Apterichtus kendalli and Herpetoichthys regius were collected using rotenone on sand bottoms and one Myrichthys sp. was observed and photographed swimming over a rocky reef. Remarkably, these species were not seen or collected in the St. Peter and St. Paul’s Archipelago ever since despite the substantial increase of biological expeditions over the past two decades, suggesting that the unjustified rotenone sampling prohibition in Brazil is hindering advancement of the nation’s biological diversity knowledge.info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersio

    The Economics of Information Technology in Public Sector Health Facilities in Developing Countries: The Case of South Africa

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    The public healthcare sector in developing countries face many challenges, including weak healthcare systems and under resourced facilities that deliver poor outcomes relative to total healthcare expenditure. Healthcare delivery, access to healthcare and cost containment has the potential for improvement through more efficient healthcare resource management. Global references demonstrate that information technology (IT) has the ability to assist in this regard through the automation of processes, thus reducing the inefficiencies of manually driven processes and lowering transaction costs. This study examines the impact of new systems implementations on service delivery, user adoption and organizational culture within the hospital setting in South Africa, as perceived by doctors, nurses and hospital administrators. The research provides some insight into the reasons for investing in system automation, the associated outcomes, and organiztional factors that impact the successful adoption of IT systems. In addition, it finds that sustainable success in these initiatives is as much a function of the technology as it is of the change management function that must accompany the system implementation.Hospital information systems; healthcare management; electronic health records; South Africa, mixed methods
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