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The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy

Editor-in-Chief: Jürges, Hendrik / Ludwig, Sandra

Ed. by Auriol , Emmanuelle / Brunner, Johann / Fleck, Robert / Mendola, Mariapia / Requate, Till / Zulehner, Christine / Schirle, Tammy

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The Employment Effects of Mergers in a Declining Industry: The Case of South African Gold Mining

Alberto Behar1 / James Hodge2

1University of Oxford, Centre for the Study of African Economies,

2Genesis Analytics,

Citation Information: The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy. Volume 8, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 1935-1682, DOI: 10.2202/1935-1682.1945, August 2008

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With data from the South African gold mining industry, we find evidence consistent with theories that mergers and acquisitions allow for the shedding of excess labor. Mergers are arguably exogenous in our sample, while an industry in decline can provide a good setting for testing the theories. The data clearly portray rises in real wages and falling employment after the end of apartheid. We find evidence of a significant negative effect of mergers/acquisitions on employment. The magnitude is similar to the effect in Continental Europe and larger than the effect in the United States. This supports the view that negative employment impacts are more likely in rigid labor markets.

Keywords: employment; mergers; breach of trust

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