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Migration and Unemployment in South Africa: When Motivation Surpasses the Theory

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  • Katy Cornwell

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  • Brett Inder

    ()

Abstract

This paper looks at the connection between internal migration and unemployment in South Africa. We examine whether rural-urban migrants are more likely to be unemployed, in informal sector employment or underemployed than non-migrants. We build on standard economic theory to predict that rates of unemployment and of participation in the informal sector ought to be much higher for migrants than for non-migrants. The empirical evidence we present, based on the 1993 and 1994 October Household Surveys, provides only some support for this theory. Results suggest that compared to job seeking non-migrants, recent migrants do well at finding formal employment, and are much less likely to be unemployed.

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File URL: http://www.buseco.monash.edu.au/ebs/pubs/wpapers/2004/wp2-04.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Monash University, Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics in its series Monash Econometrics and Business Statistics Working Papers with number 2/04.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:msh:ebswps:2004-2

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Related research

Keywords: Africa; South Africa; Unemployment; Informal Sector; Rural-Urban Migration; Labour Turnover;

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  1. Kaushik Basu, 2003. "Analytical Development Economics: The Less Developed Economy Revisited," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262523442, January.
  2. Geeta Kingdon & John Knight, 2004. "Unemployment in South Africa: the nature of the beast," Labor and Demography 0409003, EconWPA.
  3. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1974. "Alternative Theories of Wage Determination and Unemployment in LDC'S: The Labor Turnover Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 194-227, May.
  4. H. Bhorat, 1999. "The October Household Survey, Unemployment and the Informal Sector: A Note," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 67(2), pages 143-146, 06.
  5. Mazumdar, Dipak, 1976. "The Rural-Urban Wage Gap, Migration, and the Shadow Wage," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(3), pages 406-25, November.
  6. Fields, Gary S., 1975. "Rural-urban migration, urban unemployment and underemployment, and job-search activity in LDCs," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 165-187, June.
  7. J. B. Knight, 1982. "The Nature of Unemployment in South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 50(1), pages 1-7, 03.
  8. J. Gerson, 1981. "The Question of Structural Unemployment in South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 49(1), pages 7-15, 03.
  9. Todaro, Michael P, 1986. "Internal Migration and Urban Employment: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 566-69, June.
  10. Hoddinott, John, 1996. "Wages and Unemployment in an Urban African Labour Market," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(439), pages 1610-26, November.
  11. Cole, William E & Sanders, Richard D, 1985. "Internal Migration and Urban Employment in the Third World," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 481-94, June.
  12. Chaudhuri, Sarbajit, 2000. "Rural-Urban Migration, the Informal Sector, Urban Unemployment, and Development Policies: A Theoretical Analysis," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(3), pages 353-64, October.
  13. Steel, William F & Takagi, Yasuoki, 1983. "Small Enterprise Development and the Employment-Output Trade-Off," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(3), pages 423-46, November.
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