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South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences

On-line version ISSN 2222-3436

Abstract

FOURIE, Johan. Travel service exports as comparative advantage in South Africa. S. Afr. j. econ. manag. sci. (Online) [online]. 2011, vol.14, n.2, pp. 210-228. ISSN 2222-3436.

World service exports have grown at a rapid rate over the past few decades. While some countries have benefited from the surge in service exports, others have been left behind. This paper provides a snapshot of South Africa's comparative performance in service exports, using a new measure of revealed comparative advantage, the normalised revealed comparative advantage (NRCA). Countries are ranked according to their performance in 10 service export sectors. South Africa is found to reveal a strong comparative advantage in travel service exports (tourism). A discussion of the travel services sector follows, with historical, theoretical and empirical evidence to support the NRCA findings.

Keywords : services trade; normalised revealed comparative advantage; Balassa index; tourism; developing countries.

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