*Electronic Theses and Dissertations (PhDs)

Permanent URI for this collection


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
  • Item
    An Essay on the Welfare and Growth Implication of the Energy Mix in the South African Economy
    (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2023) Sesele, Masedi; Kutela, Gelo
    This study investigated the welfare and growth implications of introducing renewable energy in South Africa’s energy mix. The investigation is divided into three chapters, providing a holistic analysis of climate change mitigation on developmental goals in South Africa. The first chapter determines the impact of the usage of non-renewable energy sources on selected sectors’ economic output in South Africa. The second chapter determines the pass-through effect and the response of consumer prices to renewable energy share increases in South Africa while using the exchange rate as a threshold. The third chapter determines through a natural experiment the impact of renewable energy policies such as the White Paper on the Energy Policy of the Republic of South Africa (1998), the White Paper on Renewable Energy Policy (2003) and the Integrated Resource Plan (2010) on South Africa’s economic growth by comparing the gross domestic product (GDP) growth path before and after the introduction of these policies. Results from the second chapter showed that coal was the least contributing factor to production for most sectors, showing that excessive coal usage may hinder economic output within the country. Petroleum has a positive and significant effect on the transport and agriculture sectors but has less of an effect on the other sectors. Electricity is a major contributing factor to production in some sectors, except for the industry sector, which may be adversely affected by the increasing electricity costs and constant load shedding in the country. Results from the third chapter showed that at an exchange rate threshold value of 7.7 R/$, the share of renewable energy pass-through to consumer prices is statistically significant below and above the threshold exchange rate value. When the exchange rate is above the threshold value, the pass- through effect is negative, indicating that an increase in the share of clean energy will decrease consumer prices. These results are largely attributed to the cost of renewable energy, which has been declining significantly in periods where the exchange rate was above the threshold value and, as a result, it had a negative pass-through effect on consumer prices. Results from the fourth chapter showed that each of the three green energy policies has a positive impact on the GDP, which shows that implementing renewable energy policies in South Africa has not only resulted in generating clean, renewable energy but also fosters economic growth within the country. Using a natural experiment, the study constructed a synthetic GDP growth path that vi would have been in place had there been no renewable energy intervention and compared it with the current GDP growth path post the intervention of renewable energy policy to identify the causal positive impact of green energy on economic growth. This thesis’ results encourage policymakers to further implement and improve renewable energy policies as the share of clean energy within South Africa’s energy mix not only mitigates climate change by decreasing greenhouse gas emissions but also positively affects economic growth by creating a clean ecosystem, job creation, increasing innovation and capital formation and overall improving total factor productivity in South Africa and the standard of living of ordinary South Africans
  • Item
    Bank regulation, cross-border banking and interest rate pass- through in Sub-Saharan Africa
    (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2023-03) Gondwe, Sopani; Mahonye, Nyasha
    The thesis comprises five interrelated chapters that seek to advance empirical literature on banking and financial sector stability (risk) by focusing on some salient regulatory and monetary issues of policy relevance and interest to developing countries of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The market structure and regulatory environment in which banks operate in SSA have significantly changed over the last two decades, and the banking systems of a number of countries have also markedly grown during this period. For instance, and especially after the global financial crisis (GFC), supervisory authorities in most countries introduced new regulations, and/or in some cases, enhanced their existing bank regulatory frameworks to conform with international best practice and standards. However, questions have been raised as to whether developing countries like those in SSA need to adopt international regulatory standards indiscriminately – and whether the benefits arising from the adoption of such policies or standards outweigh the costs. At the same time, the SSA region has witnessed significant penetration of foreign banks – a development that has heightened the risk of financial contagion and cross-border spill over effects. In most countries, there have also been considerable changes in the design and implementation of monetary policy over the past two decades. These changes have triggered a considerable debate on whether and how regulatory and structural factors in the financial system impede or facilitate monetary policy transmission – a debate that, as yet, is not fully settled. This study interrogates the above issues by focussing on three related questions. First, how do regulations – that are based on international best practice and standards, impact or shape risk- taking behaviour (i.e. stability) of banks in SSA? Second, what are the banking sector stability implications of increased foreign bank penetration in the host countries? Finally, how does competition and capital regulation affect the transmission of monetary policy to commercial banks’ lending and deposit rates i.e. the interest rate pass-through (IRPT) in SSA? In addressing each question, the study applied panel econometric analyses using bank and country-level data. The data was obtained from various sources, namely; Bankfocus database, the World Bank Regulatory and Supervision Surveys (BRSSs), IMF International Financial Statistics (IFS), IMF Financial Soundness Indicators (FSIs), World Bank Governance Indicators (WBGIs), Global Financial Development Database (GFDD, 2019), and The Heritage Foundation.
  • Item
    Women’s decision-making, child nutrition and motherhood: evidence from South Africa
    (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2021) Adediran, Olanrewaju Adewole; Oyenubi, Adeola
    The thesis comprised three main essays. These are issues affecting the degree of equality in economic opportunities and the dynamics of earnings inequalities within the labour market. The inferences made about women's decision-making and their varied labour income due to the number of children given birth in South Africa. First, much of the existing literature contends that income is a key determinant of household decision-making. Yet the causal connection between income and household decision-making is difficult to ascertain, given the obvious endogeneity bias that may arise from reverse causality and omitting (unobserved) confounding variables correlated with income and the household decision- making measures. Thus, this study exploited the exogenous variation in household income and their decision-making. This is based on a unique natural experiment in South Africa using age discontinuity in eligibility for Old Age Pension (OAP) income transfer- to identify the causal effect of income on household decision-making. Using a regression discontinuity design (RDD), the study found that women's decision-making responded to changes in income from OAP transfer more than that of men. More so, the OAP transfer influenced women decision-making by 12% points for the recipient more than non-recipient. The results from the quantile treatment effect confirmed that the OAP income transfer effect is heterogeneous across the distribution of household decision-making. The study suggested that women should be used as a channel of distribution of social grant (in development programmes) to reduced inequality and achieve gender equality
  • Item
    Price Volatility in Maize Futures of Major Exporters
    (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2023-06) Sayed, Ayesha; Auret, Christo
    Futures markets provide a platform for risk management and price discovery. Significant structural changes have taken place in futures markets over the last two decades transforming them into a volatile and fast paced trading environment, with heightened volatility expected to continue. Increased volatility in grain futures markets is of special concern to farmers, traders, academics, and policy makers as it impacts food security, renewable energy and the regulation of futures exchanges. Price volatility is investigated for maize futures listed in South Africa on the South African Futures Exchange (SAFEX), in the United States on the Chicago Board of Trade, in Argentina on the Mercado a Termino de Beunes Aires and in Brazil on the Brazilian Mercantile and Futures Exchange. A particular focus is placed on South African white maize futures, given its liquidity on SAFEX, its uniqueness as the only listed white maize contract traded on a futures exchange globally, and the importance of white maize as South Africa’s largest produced field crop and main staple food. This thesis investigates the effectiveness of price limits which are found to be ineffective in curbing volatility, and instead found to accelerate prices towards their limits prematurely, exacerbate volatility and impair market liquidity. The impact of sentiment as measured through volatility indices is also studied using a time-varying vector autoregressive framework. The results confirm the influence of sentiment on trading behaviour in white maize futures, and subsequently on price volatility. The level of speculative activity and its impact on price volatility is also examined using Granger-causality, variance decomposition and impulse response functions. Finally, volatility spillovers among key major exporters of maize is investigated using four multivariate GARCH models and a DCC-GARCH Connectedness approach, with the results confirm significant own and cross volatility spillovers and time-varying interdependence. This thesis makes novel contributions to the field of futures risk management. The work covered in this thesis is among the first to investigate price limits on SAFEX, the first to include SAVI White Maize in an empirical analysis, the first to quantify the level of speculative activity in the white maize futures market and the first to investigate spillover and dynamic connectedness in maize futures among key maize exporters
  • Item
    Rail infrastructure developments and their productivity impact with special reference to institutions in five Southern African development community countries
    (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2023) Dzawanda, Bernard; Ferddeke, Johanes W.; Mahonye, Nyasha
    This thesis investigates the determinants of rail infrastructure investment and its impact on productivity growth in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe for the period 1960 to 2018. The descriptive analysis of rail infrastructure data covers the period from 1939 to 2018. With the exception of South Africa, data availability limited the study analytics to start from 1960. The five Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries share a common history in terms of development, and their rail networks are interconnected. The focus of the study is on the quantity of rail infrastructure. Based on the augmented Bond, Mairesse, and Mulkay (1997) investment model, we apply the Pooled Mean Group estimator of Pesaran, Shin and Smith (1999) on novel datasets of rail infrastructure measures to estimate the drivers of rail infrastructure investment and efficiency in Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Estimation results suggest that economic, geostrategic and institutional factors drive rail infrastructure investment, efficiency and productivity growth in the four countries. GDP is found to have an insignificant impact on rail infrastructure investment. South Africa being distinctly different from the other four countries provides a different contextual setting to investigate the determinants of rail infrastructure investment and efficiency, and its impact on productivity growth. We separately apply time series analysis in the case of South Africa using the Bounds Test technique of Pesaran, Shin and Smith (2001). Estimation results suggest that GDP has a significant negative impact on rail infrastructure investment in South Africa. Government investment has a significant negative impact on rail infrastructure investment. Research results suggest that geostrategic factors have a significant positive impact on rail infrastructure investment in the four countries, and insignificant on rail infrastructure efficiency except in the case of passenger rail infrastructure investment where the impact is negative. In contrast, geostrategic factors have an insignificant impact on rail infrastructure investment in South Africa except for mixed rail infrastructure investment where the impact is negative. The impact of geostrategic factors on rail infrastructure efficiency in South Africa is found to be positive.
  • Item
    Social reproduction, labour markets, and economic change in South Africa
    (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2023) Francis, David Campbell; Valodia, Imraan
    The South African rural economy, and its relationship to the industrial economic heartlands, has been the focus of study for many decades. In the 1970s, Harold Wolpe provided an incisive materialist analysis of apartheid. He argued that the rural economy served as a site of the reproduction of labour for capitalism in urban South Africa, thus ensuring a supply of cheap labour. His cheap labour thesis has formed the backbone of political economy analysis in South Africa ever since. But Wolpe, and other such as Mike Morris, who studied the relationship between the rural economy and the development of capitalism in South Africa, were largely unconcerned with the highly gendered nature of cheap labour, despite the fact that women were actively excluded from mining and the industrial economy by law, and played a critical role in the reproduction of life and labour in the Bantustans. Following the end of apartheid, the legal barriers preventing women from working in the main economy were dismantled, and women’s labour force participation rose rapidly. But this legal equality has not translated into substantive equality: women in rural areas continue to be significantly worse off economically than men. Unemployment rates are significantly higher for women, and they earn lower wages than men, even where they do the same work. Women continue to undertake far more unpaid work than men, and girl and women-headed households are more likely to live in poverty. Furthermore, despite well-developed literature on South Africa’s political economy, we know little about the productive and reproductive lives of rural women in contemporary South Africa. This thesis critically re-examines Wolpe for the 21st century by providing a materialist, gendered analysis of the economy of Agincourt, Mpumalanga, an area which remains on South Africa’s geographic and economic periphery. It shows how households in this part of rural South Africa are responding to the ways in which capitalism in South Africa has changed in the post-apartheid period. This thesis illuminates the important links between labour force participation, paid work, unpaid work, and livelihood strategies among households in the Agincourt area. It argues that focusing on the role of South Africa’s rural areas as sites of the reproduction of labour, as per the cheap labour thesis, ignores the highly gendered nature of social reproduction and its contribution to the reproduction of both labour and life. This thesis further contends that the role of South Africa’s rural areas cannot be investigated or theorised without a specifically gendered approach which includes women’s work in the analysis. It adds to our knowledge about an area of South Africa which is important in its own right. And Agincourt is also emblematic of the conceptual and methodological challenges of studying rural areas and their relationship with the economic 8 heartlands of urban South Africa in a way that does not marginalise the economic lives of women. It further contributes methodologically and epistemologically to studying the intersection of paid and unpaid work. It draws on a mixed-methods approach – a household survey of 600 households and 24 in-depth interviews – to investigate women’s economic lives in this marginalised place, and to re-examine the relationship between South Africa’s economic core and its periphery from an explicitly gendered perspectiv
  • Item
    A Multi-dimensional framework for adopting Physical Address System in a developing country
    (2017) Ditsela, Jeofrey
    This thesis is about the adoption of an Information System (IS) at a country level. Information Systems literature addresses adoption of IS at an individual level, organisational level or national/country level. Each level of analysis has its own complexities. However, literature acknowledging these varied complexities has not been forth coming. That is, literature has more studies done at either individual or organisational, and hardly at national or country level. This thesis argues that the adoption of an information system (also referred to as an innovation) at country level is a multi-dimensional and multi-level phenomenon. Existing literature and previous studies have hardily addressed fully, this complexities and multi-dimensionalism, although it has been noted that countries experience and internalise the innovation adoption, as a social process, differently. The study was on a developing country adopting a Physical Address System (PAS), herein seen as an IS innovation. In this thesis, PAS is seen as a social system comprising of artefacts (digital and visual representations), physical world, residents and organisations as stakeholders. The goal of the study was to conceptualise a multi-dimensional framework for adopting a Physical Address System, in the context of a developing country. Since the thesis argument is that the adoption of IS at a country level is even more complex, varied theories were employed as lenses to tackle the various aspect of the study. These lenses are the Diffusion of Innovation, the Stakeholder Theory, Upper Echelon Theory and the Contextualist Approach. Following the interpretivist philosophy, a case study was employed as a research strategy, using Botswana as a developing country case. The research design included semi-structured interviews with stakeholders, observations, policy documents. The data was analysed, discussed, synthesised and interpreted using thematic framework analysis method. Informed by the empirical evidence and the existing literature, this thesis conceptualises that the adoption of the Physical Address System ought to be done sensitive to the developing country as a multi-dimensional social system. This multi-dimensional social system includes the roles of stakeholders, determinants of innovation and context. The contribution of the thesis is in four folds; theoretical, methodological, practical, and contextual. Theoretically, the thesis conceptualised a multi-dimensional framework for the adoption of the Physical Address System in a developing country. Methodologically, the thesis contributed by following an interpretive philosophy and a case study as appropriate for understanding the complexities of adopting an information system, employing a case. Practically, the thesis, through the framework, may inform practitioners with ways to adopt a physical address system. Contextually, the thesis gives insight into the uniqueness of a developing country adopting an information system. Keywords: Developing Country, Adoption, Physical Address System, Stakeholder Theory, Upper Echelon Theory, Diffusion of Innovation, Context
  • Item
    Assessing alternative monetary policy frameworks and instruments in selected African economies
    (2017) Chiumia, Austin Belewa
    This thesis contains three core chapters that assess the performance of alternative monetary policy frameworks and instruments in stabilizing 10 selected African economies. Literature and practice show that Advanced Economies (AEs) and Emerging Market Economies (EMEs) are mostly adopting the ination targeting (IT) framework. This framework relies on active use of the interest rate as a policy instrument for macroeconomic stabilisation. Di⁄erent from AEs and EMEs, the majority of African countries are characterized by low nancial market development, frequent supply shocks and volatile terms of trade. These features impede the e¢ ciency of the IT framework and the interest rate instrument. Supply shocks imply that ination is not only demand driven. Volatile terms of trade translate into excessive exchange rate uctuations. Due to these factors, policy practice in Africa remains largely divergent from the global trend. Authorities still rely on monetary aggregate targeting (MAT) with de facto managed exchange rates. However, the MAT framework is also failing to stabilize economies. This follows instability of the key factors, such as the money demand, upon which the framework is anchored. Furthermore, controlling exchange rate movements is a challenge due to weak balance of payments positions. It is not surprising, therefore, that the majority of African economies still remain in the grip of macroeconomic instability. Ination and GDP targets are rarely met and they also remain volatile. The perverse macroeconomic features and the perceived failure of the MAT regime have necessitated the search for alternative monetary frameworks and instruments. In this study, we join the search by specically focussing on three questions. First, given the macroeconomic landscape in Africa, what is the relative performance of the interest rate vis--vis the monetary aggregate as instru ments for macroeconomic stabilization? Secondly, how do these instruments perform when apart from ination and output stabilization, monetary policy also engages in smoothing exchange rate uctuations? Thirdly, what is the relative performance of ination targeting vis--vis nominal GDP targeting as alternative monetary policy regimes for macroeconomic stabilization in African economies? Although the success of monetary policy largely relies on appropriate conguration of monetary policy frameworks and instruments, answers to these questions remain controversial and scanty for African economies. In order to address these questions, we formulate a New Keynesian Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium (DSGE) model. In this model, money is non-separable from consumption in the utility function. We estimate the model using the Maximum Likelihood method with quarterly data mostly from 1990 to 2014. The data is obtained from the International Financial Statistics (IFS). The thesis has ve chapters. Chapter 1 is the general background to the research problem. Chapters 2, 3 and 4 are distinct but related core chapters addressing three specic research questions. Chapter 5 is the conclusion. In Chapter 2, we compare the performance of the monetary aggregate and the interest rate as alternative instruments for stabilizing ination and output in 10 selected countries. Results show that the monetary aggregate is superior in stabilizing 5 economies. In the other 5 countries, it is the interest rate instrument which performs better. In the former group of countries, the monetary aggregate plays a relatively large role in macroeconomic dynamics while in the latter the interest rate is more signicant. These results partly reect di⁄erences in nancial market development between the two groups of countries. Overall, we nd a weak role of the interest rate compared to the monetary aggregate in driving aggregate demand dynamics. The exchange rate is also found to be a key driver of macroeconomic dynamics. Our re v sults suggest three things: First, authorities in Africa need to be cautious of a blanket adoption of the interest rate as a sole monetary policy instrument. Second, authorities will nd it di¢ cult to stabilize economies using the interest rate based frameworks. Third, exchange rate stability is key to macroeconomic stability in Africa. In Chapter 3, we extend the authoritiesobjective function. In addition to minimizing ination and output volatility, authorities also use the interest rate or money supply rules to smooth exchange rate uctuations. The results show that macroeconomic performance is enhanced when authorities smooth exchange rate uctuations in 4 of the 10 countries. The gains from exchange rate smoothing mostly arise from a reduction in ination and exchange rate volatility but not fromoutput. In the other 6 countries, exchange rate smoothing worsens macroeconomic performance. These results reect the fact that the exchange rate exerts a relatively large inuence in macroeconomic dynamics in the rst group of countries compared to the latter. Exchange rate smoothing therefore minimizes the pass-through of the exchange uctuations to ination and output leading to better performance. Overall, the ndings suggest that exchange rate smoothing is harmful in Africa. Where exchange rate smoothing delivers gains, appropriate thresholdsofsmoothingneedtobeobservedtoavoidpolicyinducedmacroeconomic instability. Authorities should also smooth temporal rather that structural shifts in the exchange rate level. In Chapter 4, we compare the performance of ination targeting (IT) vis-vis nominal GDP targeting (NGDPT) as alternative monetary policy frameworks for macroeconomic stabilization. We examine the strict and exible versions of these policy regimes. We also include a hybrid regime which combines elements of IT and NGDPT. Results show that the hybrid regime performs better in 5 countries. In the other 4 countries, it is the strict ination targeting that performs better. In 1 country, exible ination tar vi geting is optimal. The results also reveal that demand shocks dominate but are closely trailed by supply and exchange rate shocks in explaining macroeconomic uctuations. The multiplicity of signicant shocks is key in explaining the dominance of the hybrid regime. The hybrid regime successfully handles shocks that can neither be optimally handled by the IT regime nor the NGDPT regime alone. These results have several implications. First, demand management alone is insu¢ cient to stabilize African economies. Second, identifying dominant shocks is critical for choosing robust monetary policy regimes. Third, the multiplicity of signicant shocks implies that choosing monetary policy frameworks and hence macroeconomic management process is more complex for African policy makers. Overall, the results have several policy implications which are outlined in Chapter 5. First, they suggest a cautious approach towards generalized adoption of the interest rate over the monetary aggregate as a monetary policy instrument in African economies. This contradicts the current wave of monetary policy changes sweeping across African countries. Secondly, the signicanceoftheexchangeraterenderscredencetoexchangeratesmoothing in Africa. The ndings, however, suggest that exchange rate smoothing can either enhance or worsen macroeconomic performance. Where it enhances macroeconomic performance, authorities must carefully consider the thresholds of smoothing to avoid creating macroeconomic instability. Authorities need not ght structural shifts in exchange rates levels through smoothing. This would help to preserve the shock absorbing role of the exchange rate. Finally, the prevalence of demand, supply as well as exchange rate shocks makes the hybrid monetary policy regime which combines elements of IT regime as well as NGDPT regime to perform relatively better in stabilizing the majority of the economies. Given the multiplicity of shocks, authorities inAfricaneedtocomplementdemandmanagementwithpoliciesthataddress supply side and exchange rate bottlenecks to ensure sustainable macroeco vii nomic stability. Overall, the ndings suggest that there is scope to improve monetary policy performance in Africa by adopting suitable frameworks and instruments. The results also highlight the problem of tackling monetary policy issues with a "one size ts all" approach.