South Africa

Ricardo Hausmann

Ricardo Hausmann

Director
Rafik Hariri Professor of the Practice of International Political Economy, HKS

Ricardo Hausmann is the founder and Director of Harvard’s Growth Lab and the Rafik Hariri Professor of the Practice of International Political Economy at...

Read more about Ricardo Hausmann
Office Address: Rubenstein-338

Mailing Address
John F. Kennedy School of Government
Mailbox 34
79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

Assistant: Alexandra Villegas
p: 617-496-3740
Hausmann, R., et al., 2022. Macroeconomic risks after a decade of microeconomic turbulence: South Africa 2007-2020.Abstract
This study analyses the performance of macroeconomic policy in South Africa in 2007–2020 and outlines challenges for policy in the coming decade. After remarkable economic growth in 1997–07, South Africa’s progress slowed dramatically in 2009 with the global financial crisis. Real GDP growth decelerated more than in other emerging markets and mineral exporting peers and never recovered pre-crisis levels. In addition, the budget deficit that provided counter-cyclical support to the economy was never reigned in, leading to a rapidly rising public debt load. The study assesses three accounts of South Africa’s post-GFC growth and fiscal slump: (1) an external story; (2) a macro story; and (3) a microeconomic story. Evidence of strong linkages between micro- and political developments and growth performance is provided.