Panel Outlines Economic Growth Policies for South Africa

Final Report Prepared by CID Director Ricardo Hausmann

May 22, 2008
by Doug Gavel

South Africa is experiencing painful growing pains following years of remarkable political, social, and economic upheaval. Now an international panel of eminent economists, including several Harvard Kennedy School faculty members, has completed a series of reports at the behest of the National Treasury outlining specific policy recommendations aimed at helping spur critical and sustainable growth.

The reports are synthesized in a final report, edited by Ricardo Hausmann, director of Harvard’s Center for International Development (CID), titled, “Final Recommendations of the International Panel on the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative (ASGI-SA).”

Specific policy recommendations include increased national savings, larger fiscal surplus targets, more liberalized input tariffs, the development of a more “pro-active” competition policy with the intent of reducing barriers to entry, more focused efforts to incubate new products and new businesses, and increased centralization of municipal services for poorly-rated local government agencies.

The paper is one component of the CID South Africa Growth Initiative. The project is an initiative of the National Treasury of the Republic of South Africa within the ASGI-SA program. The program seeks to consolidate the gains of post-transition economic stability and accelerate growth to create employment and improve the livelihoods of all South Africans.

Core team members include Jeffrey Frankel, James W. Harpel professor of capital formation and growth; Robert Lawrence, Albert L. Williams professor of international trade and investment; and Dani Rodrik, Rafiq Hariri professor of international political economy. Report contributors include Matthew Andrews, assistant professor; Steven Kelman, Albert J. Weatherhead III and Richard W. Weatherhead professor of public management; Asim Khwaja, associate professor of public policy; and Christopher Stone, Daniel and Florence Guggenheim professor of the practice of criminal justice.

See the report on the CID website:

Image of Professor Ricardo Hausmann

Harvard Kennedy School Professor Ricardo Hausmann, director of the Center for International Development

Specific policy recommendations in the report include increased national savings, larger fiscal surplus targets, more liberalized input tariffs, and the development of a more “pro-active” competition policy.

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