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FACULTY OF commerce
assist African countries to maximise the potential linkage
opportunities emanating from the production of commodities
so as to promote sustainable industrial growth, and to ensure
widespread access to the fruits of this growth in a context
of good governance. The focus of the country/commodity
research studies are: Angola (oil), Botswana (diamonds),
Gabon (timber), Ghana (gold), Nigeria (oil), South Africa
(mining services), Tanzania (gold) and Zambia (copper).
Additional cross country studies focus on infrastructure
in East Africa, Chinese investment in infrastructure, and
knowledge intensive services into mining. The results have
been presented at 9 Policy Dialogue workshops. The MMCP
has published 14 Discussion Papers in 2011, available on
the PRISM/MMCP websites, as well as journal articles.
China in Africa
This is a large Pan African research project organised
through the AERC focussing on the impact of China on
Sub Saharan Africa in respect of Aid, Trade and FDI. It has
been operational for the past five years and ended in 2011
with working papers published on the AERC website. Mike
Morris was a joint convenor of the project.
African Clothing and Footwear Research Network
The AFCRN (founded in 2001) is a network of researchers
from Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Mauritius, South Africa,
Denmark and France working on the clothing/textile and
footwear/leather sectors in SSA. The current ongoing
project is a focus on ‘Adjusting to Global Chinese
Ascendancy in Clothing’ spanning 7 African countries.
Mike Morris is Southern Africa coordinator, researcher
and expert advisor. The research has resulted in a journal
publication and an ILO conference paper.
Current and recently completed projects undertaken by
PRISM include:
• Cooperation in clothing and textiles industry
• Zambia growth strategy
• Closing Skills & Technology Gaps.
• The role of the Business Sector in R&D
• Intellectual Property
• Technology Absorption in Southern Africa
• Employment intensive growth
Research Unit in Behavioural Economics and
Neuroeconomics (RUBEN)
RUBEN’s interdisciplinary team of experimental economics
researchers seek to understand the way in which people
in developing economies assess risk and make decisions.
They do this through quantitatively analyzed laboratory
and field experiments with people earning real monetary
rewards for performing experimental tasks. RUBEN
researchers especially focus on trust – the essential basis
of business relationships – and people’s attitudes to risk,
uncertainty and time. This knowledge is crucial to innovative
product design in insurance, banking and retail asset
management. For certain studies, RUBEN researchers
also have the technology and expertise to conduct brain
imaging studies, of the kind needed for neuroeconomics
and neuromarketing. RUBEN is directed by Associate
Professor Justine Burns, and includes researchers from
other Departments at UCT and international associates.
Members within the School of Economics are Andre
Hofmeyr, Harold Kincaid, Don Ross, Mare Sarr, Martine
Visser and Honorary Professor George Ainslie.
Current RUBEN research projects underway include
experimental and neuroimaging studies of addictive
consumption and illegal gambling; a study of the risk and
time preferences of Western Cape fruit farmers that can
inform the design and pricing of new insurance products
to support innovation for export promotion; and a study
of the consistency of choices under risk among South
Africans living in disadvantaged communities.
Departmental Statistics
Permanent and long term contract staff
Associate Professors
Senior Lecturers
Research Staff
Administrative staff
*Number of students enrolled for economics courses.
Students can take a number of courses in one year.
Research Fields and Staff
Permanent teaching staff
Professor Haim Abraham
Finance; futures and derivatives; monetary economics in a
general equilibrium context.
Professor Haroon Bhorat
Director of the DPRU; labour markets and labour market
policy; poverty and income distribution.