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Prof Fiona Tregenna


Fiona Tregenna holds the South African Research Chair (SARChI Chair) in Industrial Development, and is a Professor in the Department of Economics and Econometrics at the University of Johannesburg. She has a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Cambridge, a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), and earlier degrees from the Universities of the Witwatersrand and Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal). Fiona holds a B rating (“internationally acclaimed researcher”) from the NRF. She has received various awards, recognitions and grants for her research.

Fiona’s primary area of research is on structural change, with a particular focus on deindustrialisation. She has published on topics including: the specificity of the manufacturing sector as an engine of growth, intersectoral linkages, heterogeneity of activities within sectors, various aspects of deindustrialisation, intersectoral outsourcing, and employment intensity. A secondary area of research has been on inequality, poverty and unemployment.

Fiona is an elected member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), and also sits on its Standing Committee on Science for the Reduction of Poverty and Inequality. Fiona is a part-time Member of the Competition Tribunal (appointed by the President of South Africa), where she adjudicates competition cases. She currently sits on the boards of the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (MERSETA) (appointed by the Minister of Higher Education and Training); the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO); the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) (appointed by the Minister of Higher Education and Training); the Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development (CCRED) and the Centre for Researching Education and Labour (REAL Centre). Fiona is a member of the Institute of Directors of South Africa and has undergone training in corporate governance. She also sits on advisory panels such as the Gauteng Premier’s Economic Advisory Panel, and in the past has served on a range of bodies including the Johannesburg Economic Development Advisory Council (appointed by the Executive Mayor of Johannesburg) and E-Tolls Advisory Panel (appointed by the Premier of Gauteng). Fiona serves on the Scientific Committee of the African Programme on Rethinking Development Economics (Aporde), where she also lectures. In the past she has worked for among others the National Labour and Economic Development Institute (NALEDI), the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and several universities. Fiona has advised or consulted for many institutions including: international organisations (such as UNIDO, UNCTAD, UNU-WIDER and the ILO), research institutions (such as the HSRC and TIPS), government and other public bodies and parastatals (such as Parliament, government departments and the Industrial Development Corporation) as well as non-governmental organisations.

Selected publications:

(some publications can be downloaded at or

Book chapters and contributions:

Tregenna, F. (2016) 'Deindustrialisation and premature deindustrialisation' in Elgar Handbook of Alternative Theories of Economic Development, J. Ghosh, R. Kattel and E. Reinert (eds.), Edward Elgar.

Tregenna, F. (2016) 'A sectoral view of employment-intensity in South Africa' in Towards Employment Intensive Growth in South Africa, A. Black (ed.), UCT Press.

Tregenna, F. (2016) 'Sectoral dimensions of employment' in Employment Targeting: Macroeconomic and Sectoral Approaches, K. Chatani, I. Islam and F. Lapeyre (eds.), International Labour Organisation.

Tregenna, F. (2016) 'Deindustrialisation: An issue for both developed and developing countries', in Handbook on Industry and Development, J. Weiss and M. Tribe (eds.), Routledge.

Tregenna, F. (2015) 'Growth and distributional aspects of poverty reduction in South Africa' in Growth and Institutions in African Development, A. Fosu (ed.), Routledge.

Tregenna, F. (2013) 'Manufacturing productivity, deindustrialization and reindustrialisation' in Pathways to Industrialization in the 21st Century: New Challenges and Emerging Paradigms, A. Szirmai, W. Naudé, and L. Alcorta (eds.), Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Tregenna, F. (2012) 'Inequality and unemployment in the growth and recovery process: a case study of South Africa' in The Global Economic Crisis and the Developing World, K. Nurse and A. Deshpande (eds.), Abingdon: Routledge.

Tregenna, F. (2011) 'The diverse dynamics of deindustrialisation internationally' in South-South Globalization: Challenges and Opportunities for Development, L. Serino, P. Goulart, and M. Murshed (eds.), Abingdon: Routledge.

Tregenna, F. (2010) 'The dynamics of manufacturing employment in South Africa' in Globalization and Development: A Handbook of New Perspectives, 2nd edition, A. Deshpande (ed.), Oxford University Press.

Blankenburg, S., Palma, G. and Tregenna, F. (2008) 'Structuralism' in The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics, 2nd ed., L. Blume and S. Durlauf (eds.), Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Tregenna, F. (2007) 'Changes in Manufacturing Employment in South Africa' in Globalization and Development: A Handbook of New Perspectives, A. Deshpande (ed.), Oxford University Press.

Tregenna, F. (2000) 'Shaping South Africa's future trade relations' in The EU-SA Agreement, T. Bertelsmann-Scott et al (eds.), SAIIA: Johannesburg.

Tregenna, F. (1998) 'The South African labour market' in Labour Markets in Southern Africa, L. Torres (ed.), FAFO, Oslo.

Journal articles:

Greyling, T. and Tregenna, F. (2017) 'Construction and analysis of a composite quality of life index for a region of South Africa' Social Indicators Research.

Tregenna, F. (2014) 'A new theoretical analysis of deindustrialisation', Cambridge Journal of Economics, 38(6), 1373-1390.

Tregenna, F. and Kwaramba, M. (2014) 'An institutional analysis of the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa', Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences, 7(S): 641-660.

Kwaramba, M. and Tregenna, F. (2014) 'International Trade Administration Commission tariff investigations: an analysis of the poultry and paper cases', Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences, 7(S): 619-640.

Tregenna, F. (2013) 'The specificity of manufacturing in Marx's economic thought', European Journal for the History of Economic Thought, 20(4): 603-624.

Tregenna, F. (2012) 'What are the distributional implications of halving poverty in South Africa when growth alone is not enough?', Applied Economics, 44(20): 2577-2596.

Tregenna, F. (2012) 'Sources of subsectoral growth in South Africa', Oxford Development Studies, 40(2): 162–189.

Tregenna, F. and Tsela, M. (2012) 'Inequality in South Africa: a study of the distribution of income, expenditure, and earnings', Development Southern Africa, 29(1): 35-61.

Tregenna, F. (2011) 'A new growth path for South Africa?', Review of African Political Economy, 38(130): 627-635.

Tregenna, F. (2011) 'Earnings inequality and unemployment in South Africa', International Review of Applied Economics, 25(5): 585–598.

Tregenna, F. (2011) 'What does the services sector mean in Marxian terms?', Review of Political Economy, 23(2): 281-298.

Tregenna, F. (2010) 'How significant is the intersectoral outsourcing of employment in South Africa?', Industrial and Corporate Change, 19(5): 1427-1457.

Tregenna, F. (2009) 'The fat years: the structure and profitability of the US banking sector in the pre-crisis period', Cambridge Journal of Economics, 33(4): 609-632.

Tregenna, F. (2009) 'Characterising deindustrialisation: an analysis of changes in manufacturing employment and output internationally', Cambridge Journal of Economics, 33(3): 433-466.

Tregenna, F. (2008) 'The contributions of manufacturing and of services to employment creation and growth in South Africa', South African Journal of Economics, 76(s2): 175-204.

Tregenna, F. (2008) 'Quantifying the outsourcing of jobs from manufacturing to services', South African Journal of Economics, 76(s2): 222-238.

Tregenna, F. (1999) 'South African women: shock absorbers of globalisation', Bulletin for Contextual Theology, 6(3): 19-23.