An Employment-Targeted Economic Program for South Africa

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An Employment-Targeted Economic Program for South Africa

9781847201188 Edward Elgar Publishing
Robert Pollin and Gerald A. Epstein, Professors and founding Co-Directors, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Léonce Ndikumana, Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts, US
Publication Date: 2007 ISBN: 978 1 84720 118 8 Extent: 240 pp
The people of South Africa, and the African National Congress-led government, have made extraordinary social and economic advances since ending apartheid and beginning the transition to democracy in 1994. But the country still faces severe problems of mass unemployment, underemployment and poverty. This study, sponsored by the United Nations Development Program, presents a detailed economic program designed to produce major reductions in unemployment and poverty, and a general spreading of economic well-being, and to achieve these ends in a manner that is sustainable over a longer-term framework.

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The people of South Africa, and the African National Congress-led government, have made extraordinary social and economic advances since ending apartheid and beginning the transition to democracy in 1994. But the country still faces severe problems of mass unemployment, underemployment and poverty. This study, sponsored by the United Nations Development Program, presents a detailed economic program designed to produce major reductions in unemployment and poverty, and a general spreading of economic well-being, and to achieve these ends in a manner that is sustainable over a longer-term framework.

The ‘employment-targeted’ program developed here builds from standard policy tools and initiatives already undertaken by the government in the areas of macroeconomic policy, development banking and large-scale credit subsidies, labor-intensive public investments, and social welfare expenditures. The authors introduce these measures alongside specific proposals in the areas of fiscal budgetary control, inflation control and exchange rate management.

Students and scholars of development economics will find this analysis of South Africa’s economy, and the authors’ plan for stimulating job growth, of great interest.
Critical Acclaim
‘This is an exciting and stimulating work, and one that will leave its mark upon the work of social scientists and policymakers.’
– Lumkile Mondi, Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa; and Presidential Economic Advisory Panel of South Africa

‘Investment in South Africa is low, real interest rates are high, the employment-intensity of growth has been relatively slow. The “employment-targeted program” advocated in this book seeks to reverse these tendencies by lowering average interest rates and channeling subsidized credit to labor-intensive, pro-poor activities, particularly small-scale agriculture and small and medium-sized enterprises. This is a bold program and by challenging conventional “inflation-targeted” economic policy, the book makes a major contribution to the debate on economic policy in South Africa.’
– Keith B. Griffin, University of California-Riverside, US
Contents
Contents: 1. Introduction 2. The Nature of Mass Unemployment in South Africa Today 3. Supply-Side Perspectives on Employment Expansion 4. A Policy Framework on Growth, Labor Intensity, and Poverty Reduction 5. Policy Interventions for an Employment-Targeted Program Appendix 1: Sources of Employment Data and Employment Elasticity Estimate Appendix 2: Macroeconomic Policy Factors and Private Investment in South Africa Appendix 3: Estimation of Consumption Function for South Africa Appendix 4: Input–Output Model and Employment Multipliers Appendix 5: Securities Transaction Taxes Around the World as of 2002 Appendix 6: South Africa Monetary Policy Alternatives: VAR-Based Simulation Models Bibliography Index
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