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Household Inequality And The Labor Market In South Africa

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  • M Leibbrandt
  • H Bhorat
  • I Woolard

Abstract

There has been very little detailed exploration of the relationship between wage income and household inequality in South Africa despite the relevance of this issue for many contemporary growth and development policy debates. This article is directed at such an analysis. It uses a decomposition of household income inequality by income components to highlight the dominance of wage income in driving overall income inequality. This is followed by a detailed discussion of the distribution of the unemployed across different wage-earning household categories. Many of the unemployed are seen to depend on wage earners within their households, but a significant percentage of the unemployed, especially in rural areas, have no direct link to labor market earners. In such cases, the creation of employment is essential. The conclusion explores policy implications by linking our empirical findings to South African debates over the quality versus the quantity of employment. Copyright 2001 Western Economic Association International.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Contemporary Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 19 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 (01)
Pages: 73-86

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Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:19:y:2001:i:1:p:73-86

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Cited by:
  1. Pauw, Kalie, 2005. "Quantifying the Economic Divide in South African Agriculture: An Income-Side Analysis," Working Paper Series, PROVIDE Project 15630, PROVIDE Project.
  2. Paul Cichello & Gary Fields & Murray Leibbrandt, 2003. "Earnings and Employment Dynamics for Africans in Post-apartheid South Africa: A Panel Study of KwaZulu-Natal," Working Papers, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit 03077, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
  3. Finn, Arden & Leibbrandt, Murray, 2013. "Mobility and Inequality in the First Three Waves of NIDS," SALDRU Working Papers, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town 120, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  4. Frederick C.v.N. Fourie, 2011. "The South African unemployment debate: three worlds, three discourses?," SALDRU Working Papers, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town 63, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  5. Johannes Fedderke, 2012. "The Cost of Rigidity: The Case of the South African Labor Market," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 54(4), pages 809-842, December.
  6. Daniela Casale & Colette Muller & Dorrit Posel, 2005. "‘Two Million Net New Jobs’: A Reconsideration of the Rise in Employment in South Africa, 1995-2003," Working Papers, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit 05097, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.

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