Financial Markets

The Department offers a Master’s degree in financial markets and has a research focus in this area.

The financial sector, not only in South Africa, but worldwide, has undergone far-reaching changes during the past two decades. There is a powerful trend towards increasingly intense global competition for financial services as improvements in communication technology have brought widely separated financial institutions into direct competition with one another. National financial systems are merging into one vast, global financial services marketplace where national borders mean less and less. Deregulation of the financial sector by governments has further stimulated the global spreading of competition for financial services. One of the results of these sweeping changes is that the present system of markets and institutions is both more sensitive and more alert to risk in all of its forms. Developments have included a changed attitude towards the implementation of monetary policy, the emergence of new financial instruments and products, new financial institutions and brokers and an increased level of activity in the markets. International trends and standards in banking supervision and financial regulation are, further, becoming the norm in South Africa as well. Innovative services and specialist institutions are being designed all the time.

Topics for theses and research publications include the operation and efficiency of the financial markets, the role of monetary policy, financial regulation, banking supervision (in particular the implementation of the Basel III Capital accord), the equity and bond markets, (eg pricing models and volatility) and derivatives.

Contact person for research degree opportunities in Financial Markets: Mr Rob Stuart (

SPECIAL RESEARCH PROGRAMME (Rhodes University Special Research Focus Area): Environmental and Natural Resource Economics in the Eastern Cape Research Focus Area (ENREFA)

‌‌The ENREFA programme is housed in the Department of Economics and Economic History. The motivation behind the focus area is that the Province has an extremely diverse environment including one of the three globally recognised biodiversity hotspots found in South Africa, viz. the Maputoland-Pondoland-Albany Centre of Endemism. This is an area with a high concentration of biodiversity, which is under threat. An indication of the biodiversity of the region is that the Greater Addo Elephant National Park includes 5 of South Africa's 7 biomes. With the exception of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality and the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality, the Eastern Cape can be described as largely agricultural, consisting of both commercial and smallholder sectors and having a significant impact on the environment and the natural resources.

The research methods used will focus of the interface between environmental, ecological, resource and institutional economics. However, the intention is to focus primarily on the institutional economic aspects wherever possible. Specific topics within the research focus area include environment, ecological and natural resources, agriculture and sustainable development, with a special focus on water management and allocation.

Contact persons for research degree opportunities in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics in the Eastern Cape: Professor Gavin Fraser ( and Professor Jen Snowball (

Development and Labour

Topics for research include:  Poverty, the labour market, labour policy, trade and industrial policy. Research projects are often done in collaboration with the Labour Market Research Unit in the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER).

Contact persons for research degree opportunities in Development and Labour:  Mr David Fryer (, Ms Niki Cattaneo (

Last Modified: Wed, 26 Jul 2017 09:07:35 SAST