Latest Articles

The Impact of Growth and Redistribution on Poverty and Inequality in South Africa

Publisher: Development Policy Research Unit
Published: 2007
This country study evaluates the experience of the South African economy with respect to growth, poverty and inequality trends since the advent of democracy in 1994. The postapartheid government took a defi nite turn toward greater spending on social security, while job creation and a narrowing of the gap between the so-called fi rst and second economies – the latter defi ned as the informal part...

Poverty, Inequality and Labour Markets in Arica: A Descriptive Overview

Publisher: Development Policy Research Unit
Published: 2005
This paper examines, through the application of available data, the poverty, inequality and labour market challenges facing Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The paper illustrates that apart from levels of poverty and inequality that are inordinately high in SSA, the region is also beset with perhaps the more worrying problem of accounting for almost all of the world’s ultra-poor: namely those...

Poverty and Well-being in Post-Apartheid South Africa: An Overview of Data, Outcomes and Policy

Publisher: Development Policy Research Unit
Published: 2005
This is an overview of poverty and well-being in the first decade of post-apartheid South Africa. It is an introduction to a volume that brings together some of the most prominent academic research done on this topic for the 10-year review process in South Africa. This overview highlights three key aspects of the picture that the detailed research paints. First, data quality and comparability has...

Risks to Global Trade and Implications for South Africa's Economy and Policy

Publisher: Development Policy Research Unit
Published: 2006
The past two decades have witnessed an unprecedented globalisation of trade in goods and services. This process has been driven, inter alia, by technology, ideology and the availability of relatively cheap energy. By extrapolating this trend, one may expect further integration of world markets and increasingly unhindered international trade. However, there is mounting evidence of signifi cant...

Expanding The Social Security Net In South Africa: Opportunities, Challenges And Constraints

Publisher: Development Policy Research Unit
Published: 2007
For a large proportion of the South African population social welfare grants are an important source of income. Rapid increases in government expenditure on social security between 2000 and 2006 has further increased poor households’ reliance on welfare grants and has been important in the fi ght against poverty. Given these apparent successes, many are calling for further expansions in social...

Internal Migration to the Gauteng Province

Publisher: Development Policy Research Unit
Published: 2004
Gauteng, South Africa’s economic powerhouse, has long been dependent on immigration to supply its labour requirements, a phenomenon deeply rooted in the province’s early economic history and the development of mining and heavy industry. Although migration has contributed to the development of the province, it also poses challenges to the provincial government partly through the added burden on...

Have Labour Market Outcomes Affected Household Structure in South Africa: A Descriptive Analysis of Households

Publisher: Development Policy Research Unit
Published: 2005
This paper seeks to investigate how the demography of households relates to individual labour market outcomes. We comprehensively examine household size and structures in the October Household Surveys 1995, 1997, 1999 and the Labour Force Surveys September 2001 and 2002. Over the 1995-2002 period, the number of households has increased in the face of rising unemployment and the average household...

Estimating an Earnings Function from Coarsened Data by an Interval Censored Regression Procedure

Publisher: Development Policy Research Unit
Published: 2005
This paper estimates an earnings function where the dependent variable is a mix of point and interval data using an interval regression model based on a pseudo-maximum likelihood estimation procedure. The analysis uses the 1999 OHS, and takes into account point and interval income observations, as well as design features of the survey including stratification, clustering and weights. In...

Coordination Failure and Employment in South Africa

Publisher: Development Policy Research Unit
Published: 2004
South Africa lost more than 890,000 jobs, but saw an increase in the number of skilled workers from 1989 to 1999. We argue that this is the consequence of well-documented acute apartheid-era distortions which led to a current coordination failure where (i) firms are locked into a mostly skillintensive technology where they have very little demand for semi-skilled and unskilled labour, and (ii)...

Have Pro-Poor Health Policies Improved the Targeting of Spending and the Effective Delivery of Health Care in South Africa?

Publisher: Development Policy Research Unit
Published: 2007
Since 1994 there have been a number of radical changes in the public health care system in South Africa. Budgets have been reallocated, decision making was decentralised, the clinic network was expanded and user fees for primary health care were abolished. The paper examines how these recent changes have affected the incidence of spending and the accessibility and quality of health care. The...

Costing, Comparing and Competing

Publisher: Development Policy Research Unit
Published: 2007
The World Bank’s ‘Doing Business’ survey seeks to measure and compare the costs to business of various types of regulation, including labour regulation. As such it is an important driver of labour market ‘reform’ globally and in South Africa. It may also be encouraging a tendency of different systems of regulation to converge. Focussing on labour regulation, the study considers the validity of...

Consumer Price Inflation across the Income Distribution in South Africa

Publisher: Development Policy Research Unit
Published: 2007
Poverty and inequality are two important characteristics of the post-apartheid South African socio-economic context. Rooted in widespread unemployment amongst the less educated and less skilled and apartheid-imposed inequalities in access to quality education, South Africa’s level of income inequality is amongst the highest in the world, while millions continue to live in abject poverty more than...

An Exploratory Look into Labour Market Regulation

Publisher: Development Policy Research Unit
Published: 2007
This paper welcomes the fact that the discussion about the labour market and small business has broadened in scope. It considers some of the suggestions made by Cheadle (2006) in his recent concept paper. These include dismissals, unfair labour practices, appointments and promotions and collective bargaining. It also suggests that other changes to our labour laws are necessary, including the need...

The State Of Nigeria's Economic Reforms

Publisher: The Brookings Institution
Published: 2007
In 2003, following years of economic stagnation, Nigeria embarked on a comprehensive reform agenda to improve the macroeconomic environment, pursue structural reforms, strengthen public expenditure management, and conduct institutional and governance reforms. What has been accomplished in the four years of reform work? What are the notable achievements and what challenges remain? What are the...

How To Rank Good Governance: The Mo Ibrahim Prize For Achievement In African Leadership

Publisher: The Brookings Institution
Published: 2007
Recognizing that improving governance takes political leadership, Mo Ibrahim, the founder of Celtel, created the Prize for Achievement in African Leadership to be awarded to a former African head of state or government who has demonstrated excellence in African leadership. Consisting of a $5 million award to be paid out over 10 years and a $200,000 annual stipend after that, the prize has grabbed...

Darfur At A Crossroads: Global Public Opinion And The Responsibility To Protect

Publisher: The Brookings Institution
Published: 2007
Since 2003, the conflict in the Darfur region of western Sudan has worsened and shows no signs of improvement. More than 2 million people have been displaced by the violence and some 450,000 have lost their lives. Although Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir initially agreed to a joint African Union-UN force in Darfur, he has recently written to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, arguing that such a...

Are The Millennium Development Goals Unfair To Africa?

Publisher: The Brookings Institution
Published: 2008
The United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) call for cutting extreme poverty in half, reducing child mortality by two-thirds, halting the spread of HIV/AIDS, and achieving universal primary education by 2015. The UN MDG Report 2007 says we are well on our way towards meeting the needs of the world’s poorest -- except for Africa. Those reporting on MDGs say that sub-Saharan Africa is...

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