In 2020, Stellenbosch University’s Department of Economics turns 100.
This website is dedicated to the centennial year and the events and festivities planned throughout the year.

Considering that Economics has only existed as a general academic discipline at Western universities for some 150 years, the Department of Economics at Stellenbosch University has a fairly long history. In fact, our Department is one of the oldest of its kind amongst all the universities in Africa.

Ever since it was established, the various professors who have been involved in it over the years have made great contributions to build the Department of Economics into the successful institution that it is today.

The first professorship in Economics was awarded to Johannes Grosskopf (1885-1948) between 1920 and 1935. The most recent full professor in the Department is Guangling Liu (2018-). For a full history of the Department, read here.

The Department of Economics has 36 permanently employed faculty members, 2986 undergraduate students, 117 graduate students, 40 PhD students and 8 postdocs. 26 research fellows, 12 honorary professors and 3 extraordinary professors (2 extraordinary professors and 1 associate extraordinary professor) are also affiliated to the Department.

The Department is one of the leading research departments in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. The number of publication units produced for full-time equivalent staff member far exceeds the Faculty average. Research is focused around five research clusters: social and economic policy (ReSEP, including education and health), monetary and macro-economics, public economics, competition economics (CCLE) and economic history (LEAP).


Wagstaff, Adam, Eddy van Doorslaer, and Ronelle Burger. ‘SMS nudges as a tool to reduce tuberculosis treatment delay and pretreatment loss to follow-up. A randomized controlled trial.’ PloS One (2019).

Abel, Martin, Rulof Burger, Eliana Carranza, and Patrizio Piraino. ‘Bridging the intention-behavior gap? The effect of plan-making prompts on job search and employment.’ American Economic Journal: Applied Economics (2019).

Garbers, Chris, and Guangling Liu. ‘Macroprudential policy and foreign interest rate shocks: A comparison of loan-to-value and capital requirements.’ International Review of Economics & Finance (2018).

Von Fintel, Dieter, and Johan Fourie. ‘The Great Divergence in South Africa: Population and wealth dynamics over two centuries.’ Journal of Comparative Economics (2019).

A centennial celebration is not only about the past. It also looks forward. The University has recently adopted a Vision 2040: Stellenbosch University will be Africa’s leading research-intensive university, globally recognised as excellent, inclusive and innovative, where we advance knowledge in service of society.

Building on this vision, the Department adopted a new vision statement for the next decade. The Department of Economics at Stellenbosch University will

  1. Strive to be the leading Economics research department on the continent
  2. Produce policy-relevant and empirically grounded research
  3. Employ a diversity of local and international scholars that use a diversity of ideas, methods and techniques
  4. Recruit the best graduate students from Africa
  5. Provide high quality Africa-focused teaching
  6. Strive to have a positive social impact in the communities we serve
  7. Maintain the collegial environment we work in


Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee

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Tito Mboweni

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Rachel Jafta

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Monique Nsanzabaganwa

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Sizwe Nxedlana

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with Nicola Theron as moderator

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Welcoming – Stan du Plessis, Chief Operating Officer and alumnus, Department of Economics
The department: past and present – Andrie Schoombee, Chair, Department of Economics
The department: the future – Ada Jansen, Chair-elect, Department of Economics 

14:00 – 15:00

The South African economy (Tito Mboweni, Rachel Jafta, Monique Nsanzabaganwa, Sizwe Nxedlana, with Nicola Theron as moderator)

15:00 – 16:00

Good Economics for hard times (Abhijit Banerjee) 


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    Matieland, 7602,
    South Africa

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