Crude Oil Prices and Unemployment in South Africa: 1990 – 2010

Phakama Senzangakhona, Ireen Choga


This study analyses and investigates the impact of crude oil price volatility on unemployment in South Africa. This is done by firstly surveying theoretical and empirical literature on the crude oil price-unemployment relationship before relating it to South Africa. Secondly, crude oil and unemployment trends with their causes are overviewed. The study employs a Johansen co-integration technique based on VAR to model unemployment against crude oil prices, real effective exchange rate, real interest rates and real gross domestic product. Using quarterly data for the period 1990-2010, econometric results show that crude oil prices are positively related to unemployment in the long run while the opposite is true in the short run. Parameter estimates and variables are statistically significant; hence there are also policy recommendations which are related to both empirical and theoretical literature. Lastly, impulse response functions show that unemployment returns to equilibrium in the long run when crude oil price changes whereas real interest rates followed by crude oil prices explain most of unemployment changes than other variables in the long run.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2015.v6n2p407

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This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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