Egypt: Indonesian or South African parallel?

Paul Krugman compares Egypt’s economic performance prior to its political crisis to that of Indonesia and the Philippines. He makes a compelling point that the comparison fails. Egypt’s economic performance has been stable and much better than, say, South Africa’s for example.  Krugman suggests: Egypt had decent growth — but the gains weren’t trickling down, …

There isn’t one labour market

I’ve heard it said (of the US) that there is no national property market, but rather than local property markets are relatively independent of each other. I guess this was more true before 2007 than it is today. Property in one area is a weak substitute for another property in a nearby area, and an …

Unemployment and education

It’s clear to me that the biggest and longest lasting impact of Apartheid will be the disastrous effect it’s had and is continuing to have on education. We won’t fix employment or economic growth or prosperity (and in a roundabout way many other social ills) unless we have a truly fixed education system. But, passing …

Causes of unemployment in South Africa

Recently I described how employment in South Africa is a totally different ballgame to that in the US, and as a result needs different strategies to fix. The starting point then is to understand the causes of our structural unemployment in order to figure out how to fix it. Why do we have high and …

How our unemployment is not like that in the US

The US is in uproar. Their unemployment* rate is at 9.6% after having briefly flirted with 10.1% a year earlier. It’s predicted to stay around this level for years. The bulk of US unemployment is cyclical. Don’t let anyone tell you different (especially not in 1935). Cyclical unemployment arises when a shock (in this case, …

Bust a cap in your economic policy

Ebrahim Patel announced his New Growth Path policy document yesterday. At 36 pages, it’s more readable than many tome-like policy documents, but still no lightweight walk in the park. The good intentions are clear in the document, but unfortunately so are the many economic sink-holes created through inadequate input from people who actually understand economics. …

Clear, Simple and Wrong

The reason opinions are so cheap is that everyone has one and nobody wants to buy anyone else’s. I’m no different. I’m not going to try to sell you mine. I would like to present you with some ideas to think about before you overpay for someone else’s though. Jon commented on a recent post …

Unemployment, mystified

Shocking unemployment statistics (but what do they mean?) Someone threw a shocking figure at me today. They said that the unemployed under age 35 in South Africa comprise 75% of the unemployed population. I believe the figure comes from Adcorp. Like many statistics that are bandied around for shock value, this one is more fluff …