Derivatives and Economic Growth in South Africa: Lessons for Kenya

Master Thesis


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Kenya is now at advanced stages of introducing a derivatives market. Its aim is to enhance Kenya’s medium-term growth prospects as outlined in the capital markets master plan 2014- 2023. This study interrogates the effect of derivatives on economic growth and growth volatility, learning from the South African experience. The study also identifies some of the factors that drove South Africa’s implementation of derivatives as a development tool - Some countries have enacted legislation for it yet have never transitioned to successful operations. The study paints a picture of the current global and regional view of derivatives and examines empirical evidence from previous studies. Using a GMM approach, the study finds no significant relationship between trading derivatives and economic growth in South Africa. Thereafter, economic growth volatility is modelled using the GARCH method and the effects of derivatives on that volatility are tested. No effect is found. The study finds that the derivative market in South Africa is not yet sufficiently developed to benefit the economy. Finally, the relationship between economic development and derivatives is appraised using a Granger causality test: this suggests that development tends to engender the evolution of derivatives in the long run.