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Ashman, Sam, Fine, Ben and Karwowski, Ewa (2021) The Relevance of Financialization for African Economies: Lessons from South Africa. London: SOAS Department of Economics Working Paper No. 245.

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Abstract

While research has highlighted that financialization critically affects African economies and societies through its effect upon commodity prices, international value chain participation, and land, there are few accounts of the systemic and macroeconomic importance of financialization for African societies; the big exception being work on South Africa. The South African case, despite its historical peculiarities, has a broader relevance for African economies since the country combines many characteristics typical especially for the sub-Saharan region – including resource richness, a persistent trade deficit, and a volatile exchange rate – while its financialization trajectory is ahead of other African economies because financial liberalization was pioneered as early as the late 1970s. This article summarizes the effects of financialization on South Africa, holding a warning for other African countries which have increasingly engaged in financial liberalization since the 1990s. Furthermore, we detail how financialization has facilitated and furthered corruption in South Africa, in turn undermining democratic processes. Thus, we contribute to research on financialization on democracy, a field hardly considered in the context of developing countries.

Item Type: Monographs and Working Papers (Working Paper)
Keywords: financialization; neoliberalism; South Africa; State Capture
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Economics
ISSN: 17535816
Copyright Statement: © Copyright is held by the author(s) of each working paper.
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2022 18:31
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/36164

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