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Post-Apartheid South Africa: Poverty and Distribution Trends in an Era of Globalization

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  • Van der Berg, Servaas
  • Louw, Megan
  • Burger, Ronelle

Abstract

South Africa’s transition to democracy in 1994 created new possibilities for economic policy. Economic liberalization brought sustained, if unspectacular, growth that reversed the long decline in per capita incomes, but left its scars in much job shedding associated with business becoming internationally competitive. This accords with international evidence that trade liberalization takes time to realize positive employment effects. Disappointing employment growth in the face of an expanding labourforce fed rising unemployment. However, using poverty estimates from a combination of sources, this study demonstrates that poverty nevertheless declined quite substantially after the turn of the century. Poverty dominance testing shows this conclusion to be insensitive to the selection of poverty line or measure. But empirical analysis does not allow strong conclusions to be drawn on causal relationships between globalization and poverty trends.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 9065.

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Date of creation: Sep 2007
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:9065

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Keywords: trade; labour; South Africa; globalization;

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  1. Haroon Bhorat, 2004. "Labour Market Challenges In The Post-Apartheid South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 72(5), pages 940-977, December.
  2. Wolfson, Michael C, 1997. "Divergent Inequalities: Theory and Empirical Results," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 43(4), pages 401-21, December.
  3. Janine Aron & John Muellbauer, 2000. "Financial liberalisation, consumption and debt in South Africa," CSAE Working Paper Series 2000-22, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  4. Francisco Rodriguez & Dani Rodrik, 2001. "Trade Policy and Economic Growth: A Skeptic's Guide to the Cross-National Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15, pages 261-338 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Joan-Maria Esteban & Debraj Ray, 1991. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 18, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  6. Jean-Yves Duclos & Damien Echevin, 2003. "Bi-Polarization Comparisons," Cahiers de recherche 0341, CIRPEE.
  7. Murray Leibbrandt & James Levinsohn & Justin McCrary, 2005. "Incomes in South Africa Since the Fall of Apartheid," NBER Working Papers 11384, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  9. Carmen M. Reinhart & Ioannis Tokatlidis, 2003. "Financial Liberalisation: The African Experience," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 12(Supplemen), pages 53-88, September.
  10. Servaas Van Der Berg & Megan Louw, 2004. "Changing Patterns Of South African Income Distribution: Towards Time Series Estimates Of Distribution And Poverty," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 72(3), pages 546-572, 09.
  11. Servaas van der Berg & Ronelle Burger & Rulof Burger & Megan Louw & Derek Yu, 2006. "Trends in Poverty and Inequality since the Political Transition," Working Papers 06104, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
  12. Jean-Yves Duclos & Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2004. "Polarization: Concepts, Measurement, Estimation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(6), pages 1737-1772, November.
  13. Obert Nyawata & Graham Bird, 2004. "Financial Liberalisation in Southern Africa: An Assessment," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 22, pages 287-307, 05.
  14. L Edwards, 2001. "Globalisation And The Skills Bias Of Occupational Employment In South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 69(1), pages 40-71, 03.
  15. Greenaway, David & Morgan, Wyn & Wright, Peter, 2002. "Trade liberalisation and growth in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 229-244, February.
  16. Seshanna, Shubhasree & Decornez, Stephane, 2003. "Income polarization and inequality across countries: an empirical study," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 335-358, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Maciej, Szelewicki & Tyrowicz, Joanna, 2009. "Labour Market Racial Discrimination in South Africa Revisited," MPRA Paper 16440, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Marisa Coetzee, 2011. "Finding the benefits: Estimating the impact of the South African child support grant," Working Papers 230, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  3. Steven F. Koch & Gauthier Tshiswaka-Kashalala, 2008. "Tobacco Substitution and the Poor," Working Papers 200832, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
  4. Francesca Giubilo, 2010. "What Could be the Future of South Africa After National Elections on 22 April 2009?," Transition Studies Review, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 948-961, February.

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