oa South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences - Productivity and export growth in the South African manufacturing sector

Volume 2, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1015-8812
  • E-ISSN: 2222-3436



This paper empirically investigates the direction of causality between export and productivity growth in 22 South African manufacturing industries. Data spanning the period 1972 to 1993 are used. Standard Granger-causality tests are complemented by cointegration analyses and the estimation of a theoretically derived regression model. Bearing in mind methodology difficulties caused by inadequate data, little evidence of a statistically significant relationship between export growth and productivity growth is found. Only in case of the chemicals and wood processing sectors were statistically significant evidence found that export expansion could cause an increase in productivity. Domestic demand expansion was found to be a possibly more significant determinant of productivity increases.

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