Dealing with the challenge of generating employment in South Africa : does banking sector efficiency matter?

Maredza, Andrew ; Ikhide, Sylvanus (2013)

CITATION: Maredza, A. & Ikhide, S. 2013. Dealing with the challenge of generating employment in South Africa : does banking sector efficiency matter? International Business and Economics Research Journal, 12(11):1361-1372, doi:10.19030/iber.v12i11.8173.

The original publication is available at https://www.cluteinstitute.com/journals/international-business-economics-research-journal-iber

Article

In this paper, the authors seek to investigate the nexus between banking sector efficiency and labour employment in South Africa. The Hicks-Moorsteen aggregator functions were used to generate total factor productivity (TFP) efficiency measures for the big-four commercial banks. The authors then used the pooled estimation technique to examine the link between banking sector TFP efficiency and employment. First stage results revealed that the average banking sector TFP efficiency was 68 percent implying that the observed TFP was 32 percent short of the maximum TFP possible using the available technology. Hence, the banking sector has the potential to augment productivity by 32 percent without the need for further input utilisation if they were to operate efficiently. Of paramount importance in the second stage analysis was that the authors found a positive and significant association between banking sector efficiency and national employment, meaning that national employment is influenced, inter alia, by the efficiency with which banks operate. This finding highlights how the enhancement of bank efficiency translates into increased employment in the economy. The authors therefore underscore the need for the banking sector to maintain high efficiency in order to augment efforts to achieve the objectives of the New Growth Path aimed at creating five million jobs in South Africa by 2020. They also advocate for banking sector policies and incentives that are directed at enhancing the efficiency of the banking sector.

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