South African Managed Trade Policy: The Wasting of a Mineral Endowment


Since 1925, import substitution programs have diverted South Africa's mineral revenues away from efficient investments and into the creation of an uncompetitive manufacturing sector. Protection has recently been augmented by a General Export Incentive Scheme that was designed to increase manufacturing exports. A multisector general equilibrium analysis shows the export scheme is highly complex with unusual and undesirable structural effects, seeming little more than a continuation of social engineering of the past. This work provides a definitive analysis of past and present South African trade policy, using a methodology of interest to other trade and development researchers operating in similarly spare informational environments.

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