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Struggles To Escape Poverty In South Africa: Results From A Purposive Rural Survey

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  • John Sender

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    (Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK)

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    Abstract

    Results of a purposive sample of the poorest are contrasted with the methods and conclusions of other research into ‘income poverty’. The deprivation suffered by an important class of rural women in South Africa is documented. Escape routes from poverty are described that have a more realistic prospect of success than those promoted in the international and South African policy literature, including the literature on land reform. The distinguishing demographic characteristics of women who have taken the first steps on these routes are analysed, together with the political context of their relative success. Escaping the worst forms of deprivation depends on women’s wages in rural labour markets, rather than their incomes from self-employment, but conventional microeconomic theory cannot explain the distribution of wages in these markets. Then South African government has been unduly influenced by such conventional theories and the rhetoric of the development aid bureaucracy. It is failing to consider policies that are relevant to the poorest people.

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    File URL: http://www.soas.ac.uk/economics/research/workingpapers/file28867.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK in its series Working Papers with number 107.

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    Length: 76 pages
    Date of creation: Nov 2000
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:soa:wpaper:107

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    Postal: Thornhaugh Street, London WC1H OXG
    Web page: http://www.soas.ac.uk/economics/
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    Related research

    Keywords: poverty; women; wages; employment; education; rural;

    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Moore, H., 1994. "Is There a Crisis in the Family?," Papers 3, United Nations - Research Institute of Social Development.
    2. Case, A. & Deaton, A., 1996. "Large Cash Transfers to the Elderly in South Africa," Papers 176, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
    3. Tschirley, David L. & Weber, Michael T., 1994. "Food security strategies under extremely adverse conditions: The determinants of household income and consumption in rural Mozambique," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 159-173, February.
    4. Reardon, Thomas, 1997. "Using evidence of household income diversification to inform study of the rural nonfarm labor market in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 735-747, May.
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    7. Jayaraman, Rajshri & Lanjouw, Peter, 1999. "The Evolution of Poverty and Inequality in Indian Villages," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 14(1), pages 1-30, February.
    8. Dex, Shirley & Joshi, Heather, 1999. "Careers and Motherhood: Policies for Compatibility," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(5), pages 641-59, September.
    9. Mosley, Paul & Hulme, David, 1998. "Microenterprise finance: Is there a conflict between growth and poverty alleviation?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 783-790, May.
    10. John Strauss & Duncan Thomas, 1998. "Health, Nutrition, and Economic Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 766-817, June.
    11. Creighton, Colin, 1999. "The Rise and Decline of the 'Male Breadwinner Family' in Britain," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(5), pages 519-41, September.
    12. Di Tommaso, Maria Laura, 1999. "A Trivariate Model of Participation, Fertility and Wages: The Italian Case," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(5), pages 623-40, September.
    13. Pablo Antolín & Thai-Thanh Dang & Howard Oxley, 1999. "Poverty Dynamics in Four OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 212, OECD Publishing.
    14. John Sender, 1999. "Africa's Economic Performance: Limitations of the Current Consensus," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 89-114, Summer.
    15. Morris, Saul Sutkover & Calogero, Carletto & Hoddinott, John & Christiaensen, Luc J. M., 1999. "Validity of rapid estimates of household wealth and income for health surveys in rural Africa," FCND discussion papers 72, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    16. Breman,Jan, 1996. "Footloose Labour," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521560832, December.
    17. Glick, Peter & Sahn, David E, 1998. "Maternal Labour Supply and Child Nutrition in West Africa," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 60(3), pages 325-55, August.
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