Articles by Frederick C.v.N Fourie

Econ3x3 upgraded for easier reading on cellphones

Frederick C.v.N Fourie, University of the Free State
reads 50

Good news for those who read Econ3x3 articles on cellphones (approximately 40% of our readers). We have upgraded the software so that it is 'responsive'. This means that it automatically adapts to the device used by you, the reader. The screen layout of the Econ3x3 'front page' as well as individual articles should adjust automatically to the specific cellphone model and screen size, to make reading and scrolling much easier. On a cellphone screen, a new 'hamburger' menu provides access to the various options and sections that are directly visible on tablet, laptop and desktop screens. (On the latter, a few new tabs provide easier access to the 'highest reads'.) *** If there are any glitches or navigation problems, please let us know at the 'contact us' email addresses.

A national minimum wage: moving the debate forward?

Frederick C.v.N Fourie, University of the Free State
reads 3,906

The public debate on a national minimum wage sometimes appears to occur in different universes. Two recent contributions to Econ3x3 may help to take the debate forward. This article analyses and contrasts these views and finds that, though they emphasise (and underplay) different aspects, the differences may not be insurmountable – especially once one recognises that the proposals apply to different time frames. [A shorter version of this article appeared as an op-ed article in Business Day on 25 June 2015. See references.]

How inclusive is economic growth in South Africa?

Frederick C.v.N Fourie, University of the Free State
reads 9,128

While everybody seems to favour the pursuit of inclusive growth, this concept is rarely clearly defined in the policy debate. Inclusive growth is often confused or conflated with pro-poor growth or broad-based growth. A recent definition from researchers at the UNDP integrates the latter two concepts to include employment, poverty and inequality. A derivative Inclusiveness Index shows that South Africa has a very low degree of inclusiveness compared to other developing countries and that its growth since 1996 has not been inclusive.

Reducing unemployment: Waiting for high growth? Waiting for Godot?

Frederick C.v.N Fourie, University of the Free State
reads 33,583

In trying to reduce unemployment in South Africa, the pursuit of higher economic growth is the single most agreed-upon policy strategy. The consensus on this ‘obvious solution’ may blind us to the fact that economic growth, though important, may only be half of the solution. Attempts to fine-tune and turbo-boost the formal-economy ‘engine of growth’ to absorb more labour are fundamentally constrained. Economic policy makers must look at other options for generating employment and self-employment for unemployed people.

The unemployment debate is too fragmented to address the problem

Frederick C.v.N Fourie, University of the Free State
reads 8,752

The debate on unemployment is fragmented into at least three sub-discourses, i.e. those of macroeconomists, labour economists and poverty analysts. This results in inconclusive analyses and narrow, flawed proposals to address the problem. This fragmentation feeds into the policy field. Sustainable and consistent remedies for unemployment and poverty will require an integrated analysis that covers the formal sector, the informal economy and survivalist activities – and especially linkages and barriers between these segments.