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Newsletter launched

The Economics Department at Stellenbosch University has decided to launch a quarterly newsletter to keep alumni and friends updated about news and events in the department. We would like to invite you to forward this first issue to friends and colleagues who may share an interest in the happenings of the department.

We would also like to invite you to join us on Facebook to receive regular updates of new research papers, news and events.

Photo: Jaco le Roux

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Archie September retires

Archie September, our department’s administrative assistant, reluctantly retired at the end of 2012 at the age of 65. He recalls it was 42 years ago, working as a mechanic at a local garage, that Prof Sampie Terreblanche approached him to fix his car. He did it in his spare time and when Prof Sampie asked what he owed, he replied: “Nothing, just a job at the University.” And the rest is history. For 42 years, Archie provided exceptional service to our department and its students. His farewell words: “If the department needs me, I am always available, they should just ask”. So typical of the person who has given so much of himself. We wish him a happy retirement.
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Neil Rankin joins department

Neil Rankin joined the department from February 2013 as Assistant Professor. Prof Rankin is an applied micro-economist working in the areas of labour markets, firms, pricing, trade and impact evaluation. One stream of his current research work examines the links between company performance and labour market outcomes in an African context, and particularly the impact of trade at a microeconomic level. As part of his research he has managed and administered firm and labour market surveys in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Rwanda and Tanzania. He is also currently the principle investigator on a number of impact evaluation projects including a randomised control trial that investigates the impact of possible interventions on youth unemployment in South Africa.
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Rachel Jafta delivers inaugural lecture

On Tuesday 5 February, Prof Rachel Jafta delivered her inaugural lecture in the department. Attended by vice-rector prof Eugene Cloete and several other dignitaries, prof Jafta reflected on the role of social entrepreneurship in society by discussing the 'Economics at the Carnival: From social entrepreneurship to social cohesion'. She noted that social entrepreneurship, and the innovation and creation of social capital associated with the activities of social entrepreneurs, are increasingly seen as a means of bridging the gap between the 'formal' world of governments and corporations, and the 'informal' world of community-based organisations and the voluntary sector. Using the Cape Town Carnival as case study she argued that sentiments, such as hope and new perspectives, are not easily quantifiable and therefore often neglected in formal economic analysis.
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Competition policy to the fore

As part of the Department’s efforts to expand our research capacity in the field of competition policy, Dr Willem Boshoff invited Prof Daniel Rubinfeld to visit the Department from 28 February to 7 March. Daniel is the Robert L. Brookes Professor of Law and Professor of Economics Emeritus at the University of California (Berkeley) and Professor of Law at New York University. He is a world-renowned scholar, with a publication list that includes over seventy articles in the leading academic journals. He is actively involved in competition policy practice, was Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the US Department of Justice and acted as an expert consultant in landmark US antitrust cases. Prof Rubinfeld presented a special departmental seminar, acted as keynote speaker in a workshop on ‘Time series and competition policy’ organised by Dr Boshoff at the STIAS conference venue (pictured), and presented an econometrics class to our masters students.
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