Estimating the benefits of linking ties in a deeply divided society: considering the relationship between domestic workers and their employers in South Africa
AbstractIn South Africa social exclusion remains a problem due to the multiple and overlapping divisions in post-apartheid society and the lack of linking ties bridging the worlds of those who have plenty and those without. To quantify the potential benefit of such linking ties for socio-economic mobility, we examine the relationship between domestic workers and their employers – a case where we find frequent, proximate and intimate contact between individuals from these two different worlds. We construct a well matched comparison group for domestic workers via propensity score matching using a pooled version of seven General Household Surveys. The households of domestic workers appear to have lower unemployment duration and better quality jobs, a higher likelihood of owning assets and a lower prevalence of child and adult hunger. These differences provide evidence that the linking ties of domestic workers with their more affluent employers increase well-being in a way that is consistent with social network theory.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 18/2013.
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Social capital; social networks; domestic workers; inequality; South Africa;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
- Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AFR-2013-10-18 (Africa)
- NEP-ALL-2013-10-18 (All new papers)
- NEP-SOC-2013-10-18 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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