30 Nov 2021 / 15:30 to 17:00
Research seminar

SA-TIED seminar on macroeconomic policy in South Africa

On 30 November the SA-TIED programme will host an online seminar on macroeconomic policy in South Africa. This presentation is based on the report Macroeconomic Risks after a Decade of Microeconomic Turbulence, South Africa (2007–2021) by Ricardo Hausmann, Federico Sturzenegger, Patricio Goldstein, Frank Muci, and Douglas Barrios.

Federico Sturzenegger will present the report, which analyzes the performance of macroeconomic policy in South Africa from 2007 to 2020 and outlines challenges for policy in the coming decade. After remarkable economic growth in 1997–2007, South Africa’s progress slowed dramatically in 2009 with the global financial crisis (GFC). 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 authors of the report assess 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. They find evidence of strong linkages between micro- and political developments and growth performance.

The seminar will also include a policy discussion featuring Thabi Leoka and moderated by Nikiwe Bikitsha.


Federico Sturzenegger

Federico Sturzenegger is Full Professor of Economics and Business at Universidad de San Andrés in Buenos Aires and Honoris Causa Professor at HEC, Paris. He is also Visiting Professor of Public Policy at Harvard´s Kennedy School of Government. Between 2015 and 2018, he was the Governor of the Central Bank of Argentina. He has also held several positions in public service, including Secretary of Economic Policy, Member of Parliament in the Chamber of Representatives, and President of Banco Ciudad. He holds a PhD in Economics from MIT.

Thabi Leoka

Thabi Leoka is an Economist who runs her own economic consulting and advisory company, Naha Investments. She is affiliated to the Paris School of Economics. Thabi has worked for various organizations in the financial sector. She was appointed to the Presidential Economic Advisory Council in 2019. Thabi also sits on the Statistic South Africa (Stats SA) Council where she chairs the Economic Committee. She was appointed by the Minister of Finance in 2018 to review the zero-rated products in order to support the poor and vulnerable in the country. Thabi started her career as an Economist at Investec Asset Management in South Africa and London. She has also worked as an Emerging Markets Economist at Barclays Capital in London, Head of Economic Research, SA at Standard Bank, and the Chief Economist for SA at Renaissance Capital. Thabi has a PhD in Economics and MSc in Economics and Economic History from the London School of Economics and MA (Distinction) from the University of the Witwatersrand. Thabi was named the Economist of The Year 2017 by the Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals (ABSIP). She writes for various publications both in South Africa and internationally.


Register for the seminar here.