The impact of exchange rate movements on employment: the economy-wide effect of a rand appreciation

SOURCE: Development Southern Africa
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2009
TITLE AUTHOR(S): S.N.C.Ngandu
KEYWORDS: EMPLOYMENT, EXCHANGE RATES
DEPARTMENT: Economic Perfomance and Development (EPD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 5681

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Abstract

There has been some debate on the impact of exchange rate volatility and levels in South Africa. This is a particular concern as South Africa needs to dramatically expand sustainable employment and at the same time raise value-added in its production of goods and services. These are not necessarily complementary objectives for a mineral-exporting economy. Using a computable general equilibrium model, with the appreciation induced by a commodity price boom, this paper analyses the possible impact of an appreciation of the rand on employment. The intention is to identify the impact on both aggregate employment and sectoral output. Although the economy does well as a result of the commodity boom, the results indicate the potential for 'Dutch Disease'-type effects. Almost all traded sectors are negatively affected, while the non-traded sectors experience a boost as a result of the appreciation.