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Vulnerability in Employment: Evidence from South Africa

The high levels of poverty and unemployment in South Africa, have led to an emphasis on jobs as a solution to these problems. The subject of job creation in South Africa, is at the forefront of the most important economic policy documents, ever sinc…

The Role of Informal Urban Settlements in Upward Mobility

Informal urban settlements influences the well-being of a large section of global humanity . Yet there has been very little research on their role in facilitating social mobility. Such settlements, in theory, may foster human progress by linking rur…

The Seychelles Labor Market

This report, produced as a background paper to the World Bank Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD), provides a detailed overview of the Seychelles labor market. It emphasizes the relationship between changes to the overall structure of the economy a…

Socio-Economic Determinants of Crime in South Africa: an Empirical Assessment

This paper has attempted to understand how socio-economic factors influence crime in South Africa at the police precinct level. We find that the relationships between crime and these variables are influenced by the type of crime (property, robbery…

Minimum Wages in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Primer

In Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)most countries have adopted minimum wage regulation. Although the sectors and fraction of workers covered are small, given the low rates of formality and urbanization in SSA, (i) as the number of covered workers grows, wa…

Labour and Unemployment in South Africa: Notes Towards a “Grand Bargain”

"The problematic is very clear: high unemployment, high inequality and low growth, combined with a lack of consensus on what to do. The last point is important. There is no shortage of specific actual policies and interventions, as well as specific…

Can Africa Compete with China in Manufacturing? The Role of Relative Unit Labor Costs

This paper examined the bilateral trade and cost competitiveness in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) with China. Patterns are reviewed of bilateral trade between SSA and China, showing an extraordinary imbalance in the structure of trade, in that China over…

Informality and Inclusive Growth in Sub Saharan Africa

The connection between informality and the inclusiveness of economic growth is quite complex and varies in different contexts. Firstly, the authors find that the informal sector promotes inclusive growth through providing an alternative to unemplo…

Investigating the Feasibility of a National Minimum Wage for South Africa

Currently in South Africa, minimum wages are organized through two main structures: Bargaining Councils (BC) and Sectoral Determinations (SD). Together, these cover close to 70 percent of low-wage workers in the country. More recently, however, th…

The South African Township Economy and Informal Micro - Enterprises : What are the Prospects for Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship?

Most youth will need to find employment in the informal sector, if they want to be employed. Yet data on labour force participation indicates that youth are not widely active in self-employed activities or informally employed in micro-enterprises. W…

The Post-Apartheid South African Labour Market

"This paper provides an analysis of some of the important changes that have occurred in the South African labour market since 1994. The paper presents the broad changes in employment, unemployment and labour force participation, finding substantial …

Expanding the Social Security Net in South Africa: Opportunities Challenges and Constraints

"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 we…

Costing, Comparing and Competing Developing an Approach to the Benchmarking of Labour Market Regulation

"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 ma…

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

"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 post apartheid government took a definite turn toward greater spending on soc…

Sticking to the Facts: Official and Unofficial Stories about Poverty and Unemployment in South Africa

"Poverty’s major cause is unemployment. In the unlikely event that unemployment is halved by 2014, there will still be millions of people in South Africa in workerless households. The only way to address this is to develop a truly comprehensive so…

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

"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…

Trends in Poverty and Inequality Since the Political Transition

"Using a constructed data series and another data series based on the All Media and Products surveys (AMPS), this paper explores trends in poverty and income distribution over the post-transition period. To steer clear of an unduly optimistic conc…

The Post-Apartheid Labour Market: 1995 -2004

"This paper’s chief objective is the analysis of some of the changes in the South African labour market in the post-apartheid era and the challenges the labour market presents in the successful attainment of shared growth. Section 2 looks at the lab…

Second Best? Trends and Linkages in the Informal Economy in South Africa

"The idea of a ‘second economy’ has become a feature of recent government economic policy. In this paper we focus on one important element of the second economy – the informal economy. We analyse the nature of the informal economy in South Africa, …

Poverty and the ‘Second Economy’ in South Africa: An Attempt to Clarify Applicable Concepts and Quantify the Extent of Relevant Challenges

"The paper starts off by dealing with the three most common money-metric measures of poverty. It goes on to argue that looking at poverty purely from an income perspective is limiting, as there are other issues that also affect quality of life – suc…

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