The role of geographic proximity in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

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University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of geographic proximity during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study investigates the extent to which the performance of firms has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the role played by economic geography factors in mitigating or exacerbating the impact. To do this, I build upon the conceptual frameworks from the existing literature and introduce a model to help explain performance as driven by specific firm characteristics. The study draws data from the World Bank Group’s Enterprise Survey (ES). The dataset used for analysis comprises of 1097 South African firms of which 329 are from the Gauteng province. The study finds that firm size, sector, and market demand have a significant impact on the performance of private sector enterprises during the COVID- 19 pandemic. The results of the empirical analysis are inconclusive with regards to the effects of location and export collaboration in determining firm success.
Research Report submitted in partial fulfillment of the Degree of Master of Commerce (Economic Science) in the School of Economics and Finance, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2022
Geographic proximity, COVID-19 pandemic, UCTD
Nozipho Mzobe. (2022).The role of geographic proximity in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic [Master’s dissertation, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg]. WireDSpace.