Recent Projects


In addition to its core business of competition economics, Econex has broadened its focus to include a wider array of services, including international trade analyses, strategic economic analyses and general applied economics. Some examples of recent projects are:


  • Research on the difference between public and private health sector rationing mechanisms in South Africa. The report looks at international evidence and considers both theoretical and practical issues. The full report can be accessed here. For more information, please contact Mariné Erasmus.


  • Determining HASA member hospitals' contribution to the South African economy. The full report can be accessed here. For more information, please contact Mariné Erasmus.


  • Research on behalf of SABMiller regarding the contribution of their business to the South African Economy. For more information please contact Cobus Venter.



  • Research on behalf of Finmark Trust into the private health insurance market in Zambia. For more information on this project please contact Mariné Erasmus.


  • In depth market report for a major South African carbon black manufacturer with a specific focus on potential competition issues.


  • Estimating the importance of agro industries to the South African economy on behalf of UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organisation).


  • A full costing and economic impact assessment of the proposed South African National Health Insurance (NHI) plan on behalf of the Hospital Association of South Africa (HASA). Please contact Mariné Erasmus for any queries related to Econex's work in health economics.

  • Research on behalf of a major fixed line telecoms operator on various dimensions of the South African broadband market. For more information contact Cobus Venter.

  • Research on behalf of the National Recyclers Organisation (NRO) on the impact of a proposed export tax on scrap metal. The results of this study will be presented to the DTI. This project was led by Prof. Colin McCarthy and Dr. Nicola Theron with Cobus Venter as lead researcher.

Read more…



Paula Armstrong recently joined Econex. Her PhD thesis deals with teachers in the South African education system. The relationship between teacher effectiveness and teacher age was recently covered in media. The Cape Times and Die Burger discusses the finding that pupils taught by younger teachers on average outperform those taught by older teachers.


Mariné Erasmus recently contributed to a panel discussion at the Hospital Association of South Africa ( HASA) conference on the status of the medical workforce in South Africa. Read the Business Day article here.


Following the publication of Research Note 33, which deals with the proposed ban on alcohol advertising as a policy response to the damage inflicted to the South African economy by alcohol misuse, Helanya Fourie spoke to Alec Hogg on CNBC Africa about this issue.


Econex research showing flat concentration trends in the Private Sector was quoted in the Business Day of 10 March


Read the Business Day article quoting Econex Research Note 32 on the role and contribution of the private health sector to South Africa's economy.


Prof Nicola Theron is quoted in the Business Day regarding the recently published terms of reference for the Competition Commission's inquiry into the private healthcare market. Also see our Occasional Note with more detailed comments.


The Business Day quotes Econex Research Note 31 concerning the adjusted and increased import duties on frozen chicken products.


Following the publishing of Research Note 31 dealing with the impact of the recently announced import tariffs on frozen chicken, Prof. Theron spoke to Alec Hogg on CNBC Africa about this issue.


Econex senior associate, Dr Grovè Steyn, recently commented on state-owned enterprises in the Business Day. Read the article on Business Day Live.


Econex senior economist, Mariné Erasmus, is quoted in the Business Report article concerning the scope of the Competition Commission's private healthcare market inquiry.


Read the Free Market Foundation feature article: Government - the culprit behind high private healthcare prices.


Econex director Prof Rachel Jafta has been appointed as chairperson of Media 24. We are very proud of her achievements and wish her all the best with this new responsibility. Read the article on News24.


Read the Business Report article quoting the latest Econex research note on the Competition Commission's proposed market enquiry into the private healthcare in South Africa.


Congratulations to Dr Nicola Theron, Econex MD, who has been appointed as Extraordinary Professor at the University of Stellenbosch Economics Department.


Dr Willem Boshoff, Econex director and senior lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch, recently won one of the four Founder's Medals of the Economic Society of South Africa for the best doctoral thesis. His thesis is entitled "Conceptual and empirical advances in antitrust market definition with application to SA competition policy," in which he developed quantitative tools for market demarcation.


Read the Business Day article quoting Dr Nicola Theron, Econex MD, on the probable healthcare competition inquiry.


An article in the City Press reports that CMS data support the Econex Occasional Note findings that part of the increase in medical scheme spending on private hospitals can be attributed to beneficiaries getting older and sicker.

Recent Publications


Research Note 36: Rising Prices in the Healthcare Sector - Unpacking Health Inflation


Research Note 35: Made in South Africa: The impact of local content regulations on South Africa’s broadcasting sector


Econex has consolidated previous work done on market definition in various hospital mergers and other healthcare analyses, into a note which has been submitted to the Healthcare Enquiry Panel, in response to the call for submissions on the Statement of Issues. The aim of this note is to aid the enquiry by summarising the main techniques for market definition from the literature as well as some practical guidelines as to data requirements, statistical techniques, etc. The note can be accessed here


Research Note 34: The Use of Profitability in Competition Analysis: Role and Reasoning


Econex has released the latest Occasional Note dealing with trends in concentration in private healthcare markets.


Full Report: Econex Private Health Sector Study


Occasional Note: Market Inquiry into Private Healthcare in SA


Medical Scheme Expenditure on Private Hospitals - Occasional Note August 2012




Research Note 33: The External Cost of Alcohol Consumption in SA: Ban on Alcohol Advertising


Research Note 32: The SA Private Healthcare Sector: Role and Contribution


Research Note 31: NOT A FREE LUNCH: The Implications of Increased Import Tariffs on South Africa’s Chicken Market


Research Note 30: Trends in Medical Scheme Demographics - Observations from the Data


Research Note 29: Market Enquiry into Private Healthcare in South Africa


Research Note 28: Antitrust Market Definition in a Changing World


Research Note 27: Public vs. Private Health Sector Rationing Mechanisms


Research Note 26: Economic Valuation of Intellectual Property: The Case of Music Royalties


Research Note 25: The Contribution of HASA Member Hospitals to the South African Economy


Research Note 24: Economic Report on the  Impact of an Export Restriction on Scrap Metal in SA


Research Note 23: Merger Remedies and the Walmart - Massmart Case


Research Note 22: Comments on some Fundamentals of the NGP as Industrial Policy