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- ItemBamboo shoots : Asian migration, trade and business networks in South Africa(Bureau for Economic Research, 2018) Kerby, E.Interconnected business and trade routes, or “bamboo networks” have long been recognised as engines of growth in Asia. However, as Asian migration expands to Africa, what are their impact? This paper examines the links between trade flows and Taiwanese migration in South Africa from 1975 to 1995. Constructing a bilateral trade series from novel declassified migration and trade data, two aspects of the change in trade are quantified: Firstly, how did international trade change during sanctions, vis-à-vis South Africa and its largest OECD trading partners? Secondly, using migration data, I examine the extent to which the 1975 immigration of Taiwanese investors to South Africa could have increased and diversified trade between the two countries through their investment. Three years after the lifting of sanctions, the share of South African exports to Taiwan was both greater, but importantly more diversified in the sectors in which migrants invested. Using archival accounts, I discuss the possible processes through which these changes to trade could have occurred. Known as the migrant-trade effect, the results suggest that Taiwanese entrepreneurs increased trade by forming business networks and supply chains linking them to Asian markets.
- ItemBlack living standards in South Africa before democracy : new evidence from height(Academy of Science of South Africa, 2018) Mpeta, Bokang; Fourie, Johan; Inwood, KrisVery little income or wage data were systematically recorded about the living standards of South Africa’s black majority during much of the 20th century. We used four data sets to provide an alternative measure of living standards – namely stature – to document, for the first time, living standards of black South Africans over the course of the 20th century. We found evidence to suggest that living standards in the first three decades of the century were particularly poor, perhaps because of the increasingly repressive labour policies in urban areas and famine and land expropriation that weighed especially heavily on the Basotho. The decade following South Africa’s departure from the gold standard, a higher international gold price and the demand for manufactured goods from South Africa as a consequence of World War II seem to have benefitted both black and white South Africans. The data also allowed us to disaggregate by ethnicity within the black population group, revealing levels of inequality within race groups that have been neglected in the literature. Finally, we compared black and white living standards, and revealed the large and widening levels of inequality that characterised 20th-century South Africa.
- ItemBlack – and not offended(ASSAf, 2020-07-10) Essop, Hassan; Long, WahbieThis Commentary is a response to a Commentary published in the May/June 2020 issue: Nattrass N. Why are black South African students less likely to consider studying biological sciences? S Afr J Sci. 2020;116(5/6), Art. #7864, 2 pages. https://doi.org/10.17159/sajs.2020/7864 Responses to the Commentary in the May/June 2020 issue have been published collectively in a special issue of Volume 116.
- ItemCliometrics in South Africa(Bureau for Economic Research, 2018) Fourie, J.Arican economic history is experiencing a renaissance, and South African economic history likewise. Combining newly transcribed large historical datasets with econometric techniques now standard in the economics literature, economic historians have greatly improved our understanding of South Africa’s development over the centuries. Yet many questions remain. This paper reviews the most recent contributions, several of which are published in this special issue, and surveys the road ahead.
- ItemContinuous assessment and matriculation examination marks – an empirical examination(AOSIS Publishing, 2016) Van der Berg, Servaas; Shepherd, DebraThis study analyses information and feedback from matriculation level continuous assessment in the South African education system. Continuous assessment (CASS) at the time carried a 25% weight in the final matriculation (Grade 12) mark, and it provides feedback that affects examination preparation and effort. Weak assessment in schools sends wrong signals to students that may have important consequences for the way they approach the final examination. Moreover, similarly wrong signals earlier in their school careers may also have affected their subject choice and career planning. This study compares CASS data to the externally assessed matric exam marks for a number of subjects. There are two signalling dimensions to inaccurate assessments: (i) Inflated CASS marks can give students a false sense of security and lead to diminished exam effort. (ii) A weak correlation between CASS and the exam marks could mean poor signalling in another dimension: Relatively good students may get relatively low CASS marks. Such low correlations indicate poor assessment reliability, as the examination and continuous assessment should both be testing mastery of the same national curriculum. The paper analyses the extent of each of these dimensions of weak signalling in South African schools and draws disturbing conclusions for a large part of the school system.
- ItemContribution of worker participation to increase efficiency of firms(AOSIS, 2004) De Villiers, A. P.; Kooy, Z. W.There are many factors that may lead to inefficiencies in a firm. One reason is the existence of a principal-agent problem. Linked with this problem is asymmetric information, unaligned motives of principals and agents, distrust (that was rampant in the era of apartheid in South Africa, but more recently the Basic Conditions of Employment Act can fulfil this role) and conflict. Worker participation schemes can help to alleviate this problem and different forms of worker participation schemes are discussed that can increase efficiency of firms.
- ItemCorporate governance and performance in publicly listed, family-controlled firms : evidence from Taiwan(Springer Verlag, 2005-09) Filatotchev, Igor; Lien, Yung-Chih; Piesse, JeniferUsing a multi-industry dataset of 228 firms listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TSE) this paper analyses the effects of ownership structure and board characteristics on performance in large, publicly traded firms that are controlled by founding families. After taking account of possible endogeneity problems, we do not find that family control is associated with performance measured in terms of accounting ratios, sales per issued capital, earnings per share and market-to-book value. However, share ownership by institutional investors, and foreign financial institutions in particular, is associated with better performance. Our results indicate that board independence from founding family and board members’ financial interests have a positive impact on performance.
- ItemCounting the cost : COVID-19 school closures in South Africa and its impact on children(AOSIS, 2020-12-07) Spaull, Nic; Van der Berg, ServaasBackground: When the new coronavirus rapidly spread across the globe, the impact of the virus on children was still unclear, and closing schools seemed the responsible thing to do. But much has been learnt since about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the effects of lockdown and school closures, both in South Africa and internationally. Aim: It shows that the mortality risk of the virus is extremely small for children, even when assuming an extremely pessimistic scenario for total COVID-19 deaths. Setting: We review the evidence at a national level in South Africa using nationally-representative datasets. Methods: This article offers evidence drawn from nationally representative household surveys, school surveys and administrative datasets, as well as research reports. Results: International evidence predominantly shows that children are not important transmitters of this virus, which is different from the case for influenza, for example. We show that there are considerable costs to the lockdown for children. These relate to foregone leaning opportunities, mental health, nutrition and physical health. Conclusion: We show that re-opening the economy whilst keeping schools closed results in many unintended consequences, including that children are at higher risk of being left home alone. Considering all of this, we propose that all children should return to schools, crèches and early childhood development (ECD)centres without any further delay.
- ItemDataset on retail outlet product prices for Botswana, Lesotho and South Africa(Elsevier, 2018-08) Nchake, Mamello A.; Edwards, Lawrence; Rankin, NeilThe data presented in this article are related to the research article entitled “Closer monetary union and product market integration in emerging economies: Evidence from the Common Monetary Area in Southern Africa” (M. A. Nchake, L. Edwards, N. Rankin, 2017) . This article describes the monthly retail product prices used in the compilation of the consumer price index of Lesotho, South Africa and Botswana, and collected by the statistical offices in the respective countries. The data are provided at the product level and vary across cities and across time. Each individual product has information on the date (month and year), city, product and unit codes, units of measurements and, in some cases, brand name of that product. The data is made publicly available to enable replication analysis or to extend on the existing results.
- ItemDate-stamping US housing market explosivity(Leibniz Association, 2018) Balcilar, Mehmet; Katzke, Nico; Gupta, RanganIn this paper, the authors set out to date-stamp periods of US housing price explosivity for the period 1830–2013. They make use of several robust techniques that allow them to identify such periods by determining when prices start to exhibit explosivity with respect to its past behaviour and when it recedes to long term stable prices. The first technique used is the Generalized sup ADF (GSADF) test procedure developed by Phillips, Shi, and Yu (Testing for Multiple Bubbles: Historical Episodes of Exuberance and Collapse in the S&P 500, 2013), which allows the recursive identification of multiple periods of price explosivity. The second approach makes use of Robinson’s (Efficient Test of Nonstationary Hypotheses, 1994) test statistic, comparing the null of a unit root process against the alternative of speced orders of fractional integration. The analysis date-stamps several periods of US house price explosivity, allowing us to contextualize its historic relevance.
- ItemDebates on industrialisation and economic growth in the Netherlands(International Institute of Social History, 2014-06-15) De Jong, Herman; Van Zanden, Jan LuitenWith the renewed interest in macro-economic quantifi cation since the 1950s the study of long-term economic growth and development became also an important theme within the discipline of economic history. It developed into a major tool to analyse the process of industrialisation and to identify the forces which explain long-term growth and stagnation of the rich and poor parts of the world. This chapter examines the new branch of macro-economic history as it developed in the Netherlands after 1945. This new approach initially focused on the problem of the slow industrialization during the nineteenth century, but gradually branched out to include the early modern period and the twentieth century. Studies in this fi eld were characterized by a strong quantitative orientation, and resulted in systematic overview of the growth of the Dutch economy from the Late Middle Ages to the present.
- ItemDifferences in health-related quality of life between HIV-positive and HIV-negative people in Zambia and South Africa : a cross-sectional baseline survey of the HPTN 071 (PopART) trial(Elsevier, 2017) Thomas, Ranjeeta; Burger, Ronelle; Harper, Abigail; Kanema, Sarah; Mwenge, Lawrence; Vanqa, Nosivuyile; Bell-Mandla, Nomtha; Smith, Peter C.; Floyd, Sian; Bock, Peter; Ayles, Helen; Beyers, Nulda; Donnell, Deborah; Fidler, Sarah; Hayes, Richard; Hauck, KatharinaBackground: The life expectancy of HIV-positive individuals receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) is approaching that of HIV-negative people. However, little is known about how these populations compare in terms of health-related quality of life (HRQoL). We aimed to compare HRQoL between HIV-positive and HIV-negative people in Zambia and South Africa. Methods: As part of the HPTN 071 (PopART) study, data from adults aged 18–44 years were gathered between Nov 28, 2013, and March 31, 2015, in large cross-sectional surveys of random samples of the general population in 21 communities in Zambia and South Africa. HRQoL data were collected with a standardised generic measure of health across five domains. We used β-distributed multivariable models to analyse differences in HRQoL scores between HIV-negative and HIV-positive individuals who were unaware of their status; aware, but not in HIV care; in HIV care, but who had not initiated ART; on ART for less than 5 years; and on ART for 5 years or more. We included controls for sociodemographic variables, herpes simplex virus type-2 status, and recreational drug use. Findings: We obtained data for 19 750 respondents in Zambia and 18 941 respondents in South Africa. Laboratoryconfirmed HIV status was available for 19 330 respondents in Zambia and 18 004 respondents in South Africa; 4128 (21%) of these 19 330 respondents in Zambia and 4012 (22%) of 18 004 respondents in South Africa had laboratory-confirmed HIV. We obtained complete HRQoL information for 19 637 respondents in Zambia and 18 429 respondents in South Africa. HRQoL scores did not differ significantly between individuals who had initiated ART more than 5 years previously and HIV-negative individuals, neither in Zambia (change in mean score –0·002, 95% CI –0·01 to 0·001; p=0·219) nor in South Africa (0·000, –0·002 to 0·003; p=0·939). However, scores did differ between HIV-positive individuals who had initiated ART less than 5 years previously and HIV-negative individuals in Zambia (–0·006, 95% CI –0·008 to –0·003; p<0·0001). A large proportion of people with clinically confirmed HIV were unaware of being HIV-positive (1768 [43%] of 4128 people in Zambia and 2026 [50%] of 4012 people in South Africa) and reported good HRQoL, with no significant differences from that of HIV-negative people (change in mean HRQoL score –0·001, 95% CI –0·003 to 0·001, p=0·216; and 0·001, –0·001 to 0·001, p=0·997, respectively). In South Africa, HRQoL scores were lower in HIV-positive individuals who were aware of their status but not enrolled in HIV care (change in mean HRQoL –0·004, 95% CI –0·01 to –0·001; p=0·010) and those in HIV care but not on ART (–0·008, –0·01 to –0·004; p=0·001) than in HIV-negative people, but the magnitudes of difference were small. Interpretation: ART is successful in helping to reduce inequalities in HRQoL between HIV-positive and HIV-negative individuals in this general population sample. These findings highlight the importance of improving awareness of HIV status and expanding ART to prevent losses in HRQoL that occur with untreated HIV progression. The gains in HRQoL after individuals initiate ART could be substantial when scaled up to the population level.
- Item"'n Droewige laslap op die voos kombers van onreg" : 'n statistiese analise van konsentrasie-kampbewoners(Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns, 2016-12) Du Plessis, Sophia; Fourie, JohanAFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Die konsentrasiekampe van die Anglo-Boereoorlog (1899-1902) wek steeds intense emosies op. Om dié rede is dit ook verstaanbaar dat 'n breë literatuur verskeie aspekte van die konsentrasiekampe en die lewe van die bewoners ondersoek. Vreemd genoeg, is een aspek wat wel agterweë gelaat is 'n kwantitatiewe ondersoek na die lengte van verblyf vir die meer as 100 000 wit mans, vroue en kinders in die kampe. Hoeveel dae is die gemiddelde kampbewoner gehuisves? Het bewoners uit die republieke of dié uit die kolonies langer aangebly? En wat was die kenmerke van bewoners wat voor die einde van die oorlog die kampe verlaat het? Duisende het ook in die kampe gesterf. Ons ontleed ook die kenmerke van hierdie groep, en werp lig op die redes vir hul tragiese einde. Deur gebruik te maak van 'n enorme datastel van kampbewoners en die statistiese hulpmiddel oorlewingsanalise, bied hierdie artikel 'n nuwe blik op n ou onderwerp en vra nuwe vrae vir toekomstige historiese navorsing.
- ItemEarly roots of "coloured" poverty : how much can 19th century censuses assist to explain the current situation?(North-West University, 2013-12) Du Plessis, Sophia; Van der Berg, ServaasThe coloured population comprises almost 10 per cent of the South African population, earning only a slightly smaller proportion of national income. The average income of this group hides, however, startlingly large disparities in living standards. Their Gini coefficient has been rising, and depending on the data source one uses, appears to be close to or even above 0.60 – a level exceeded by few countries. Poverty levels are high; roughly one-quarter to one-third of all coloured people can be classified as poor, depending on the poverty line used. This poverty is in spite of the fact that during the apartheid era, coloureds were never subjected to quite the same levels of economic and socio-political discrimination as blacks and shared common languages and much of their culture with whites, which could have served as lubricant for social mobility into the middle class. Taking cognisance of these facts, the question arises why so many coloured people find themselves in a poverty trap. This paper takes a historical approach in an attempt to provide some pointers as to why poverty has remained so pervasive within this group. We present statistics on the socio-economic position of this population group, starting in 1865, when the first official census was conducted in the Cape Colony. We highlight information of interest wherever early censuses allow. This is followed by an examination of censuses and surveys dating from 1970 onwards, using micro datasets. Patterns of educational progress and exclusion are highlighted and compared with those of other groups, where possible and appropriate, because of the importance of such patterns for intergenerational social mobility.
- ItemEconomic history in the Netherlands between 1914 and 2014(International Institute of Social History, 2014-06-15) Van Tielhof, Milja; Van Zanden, Jan Luiten; Van Gerwen, Jacques; Seegers, CoA brief overview of the history of the Netherlands Economic History Archives (Nederlandsch EconomiscHistorisch Archief, or NEHA).
- ItemEducational outcomes : pathways and performance in South African high schools(Academy of Science of South Africa, 2012-03-14) Reddy, Vijay; Van der Berg, Servaas; Janse van Rensburg, Dean; Taylor, StephenWe analysed the pathways and performances in mathematics of high (secondary) school students in South Africa using a panel-like data set of Grade 8 students who participated in the 2002 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and who were tracked to Grade 12 examination data sets. We examined the relationship between TIMSS mathematics performance and reaching Grade 12, the selection of and performance in Grade 12 mathematics, and success rates in the matriculation examination. The progression of students from schools serving middle-class (Subsystem M) and poorer students (Subsystem P, the majority) was compared. Firstly, mathematics achievement scores in South Africa are low and different performance patterns were shown between the two subsystems. Secondly, students who started with similar Grade 8 mathematics scores had different educational outcomes 4 years later. In Subsystem M schools, Grade 8 mathematics scores were a good indicator of who would pass matric, whilst this relationship was not as strong in Subsystem P schools. Thirdly, there was a stronger association between TIMSS Grade 8 scores and subject choice of matric mathematics in Subsystem M schools than in Subsystem P schools. Fourthly, there was a strong correlation between Grade 8 mathematics performance and matric mathematics achievement. Mathematics performance in the earlier years predicted later mathematics performance. To raise exit level outcomes, mathematics scores need to be raised by Grade 8 or earlier. To improve educational and labour market outcomes, the policy priority should be to build foundational knowledge and skills in numeracy. © 2012. The Authors.
- ItemEffects and determinants of tuberculosis drug stockouts in South Africa(BMC (part of Springer Nature), 2019) Koomen, L. E. M.; Burger, R.; Van Doorslaer, E. K. A.Background: The frequent occurrence of medicine stockouts represents a significant obstacle to tuberculosis control in South Africa. Stockouts can lead to treatment alterations or interruptions, which can impact treatment outcomes. This study investigates the determinants and effects of TB drug stockouts and whether poorer districts are disproportionately affected. Methods: TB stockout data, health system indicators and TB treatment outcomes at the district level were extracted from the District Health Barometer for the years 2011, 2012 and 2013. Poverty terciles were constructed using the Census 2011 data to investigate whether stockouts and poor treatment outcomes were more prevalent in more impoverished districts. Fixed-effects regressions were used to estimate the effects of TB stockouts on TB treatment outcomes. Results: TB stockouts occurred in all provinces but varied across provinces and years. Regression analysis showed a significant association between district per capita income and stockouts: a 10% rise in income was associated with an 8.50% decline in stockout proportions. In terms of consequences, after controlling for unobserved time invariant heterogeneity between districts, a 10% rise in TB drug stockouts was found to lower the cure rate by 2.10% (p < 0.01) and the success rate by 1.42% (p < 0.01). These effects were found to be larger in poorer districts. Conclusions: The unequal spread of TB drug stockouts adds to the socioeconomic inequality in TB outcomes. Not only are stockouts more prevalent in poorer parts of South Africa, they also have a more severe impact on TB treatment outcomes in poorer districts. This suggests that efforts to cut back TB drug stockouts would not only improve TB treatment outcomes on average, they are also likely to improve equity because a disproportionate share of this burden is currently borne by the poorer districts.
- ItemEnhancing the accuracy of fiscal projections in South Africa(AOSIS Publishing, 2016) Calitz, Estian; Siebrits, Krige; Stuart, IanThe accuracy of the National Treasury's projections of GDP and key fiscal aggregates is comparable to that of the projections of private sector economists, other reputable organisations and the fiscal authorities of other countries. The errors in the projections of the National Treasury have nonetheless been substantial in some years, and have increased from 2000/01 to 2010/11. This paper argues that the credibility of fiscal policy would have been severely tested if the largest annual errors in respect of the various aggregates had coincided. Against this backdrop, the paper makes the case for structured bi-annual discussions of government’s forecasts during public parliamentary hearings as a mechanism for improving the accuracy and credibility of official projections. It also discusses the potential benefits for South Africa of two alternative mechanisms, namely fiscal councils and committees of independent experts.
- ItemExamining the impact of WHO’s Focused Antenatal Care policy on early access, underutilisation and quality of antenatal care services in Malawi : a retrospective study(BMC (part of Springer Nature), 2019-05-08) Mchenga, Martina; Burger, Ronelle; Von Fintel, DieterBackground: A variety of antenatal care models have been implemented in low and middle-income countries over the past decades, as proposed by the World Health Organisation (WHO). One such model is the 2001 Focused Antenatal Care (FANC) programme. FANC recommended a minimum of four visits for women with uncomplicated pregnancies and emphasised quality of care to improve both maternal and neonatal outcomes. Malawi adopted FANC in 2003, however, up to now no study has been done to analyse the model’s performance with regards to antenatal care service quality and utilisation patterns. Methods: The paper is based on data pooled from three comparable nationally representative Malawi Demographic and Health Survey (MDHS) datasets (2000, 2004 and 2010). The DHS collects data on demographics, socio-economic indicators, antenatal care, and the fertility history of reproductive women aged between 15 and 49. We pooled a sample of 8545 women who had a live birth in the last 5 years prior to each survey. We measure the impact of FANC on early access to care, underutilisation of care and quality of care with interrupted time series analysis. This method enables us to track changes in both levels and the trends of our outcome variables. Results: We find that FANC is associated with earlier access to care. However, it has also been associated with unintended increases in underutilisation. We see no change in the quality of ANC services. Conclusion: In light of the WHO 2016 ANC guidelines, which recommend an increase of visits to eight, these results are important. Given that we find underutilisation when the benchmark is set at four visits, eight visits are unlikely to be feasible in low-resource settings.
- ItemFiscal centralisation in a federal state : the South African case(College of Economic and Management Sciences of the University of South Africa, 2013) Calitz, E.; Essop, H.The paper seeks to determine whether the observation from a constitutional law and public administration perspective, namely that a distinct centralist tendency has become evident in South Africa in recent years, in terms of legislation, policy and practice of government, is borne out by an empirical analysis of fi scal data. An overview of key legislative, policy and operational changes is combined with an investigation of trends of indicators pertaining to intergovernmental fi scal relations. It is established that the South African fi scal scene has, over many decades, been characterised by a steady and gradual reduction of the fi scal autonomy of sub-national governments. Fiscally, South Africa has become more centralised, thus strengthening the de facto erosion of the federal state.