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Post-Transition Poverty Trends Based On An Alternative Data Source

  • Servaas Van der berg
  • Megan Louw
  • Derek Yu

This paper analyses a previously unused source of data - the All Media and Product Survey (AMPS) - to arrive at alternative estimates of the post-transition poverty path. The motivations for using this non-official data source are twofold: concern over the comparability of the existing official post-transition datasets - the Income and Expenditure Survey (IES) and Population Census - and a desire to extend analysis of poverty trends beyond 2001. While official data sources are generally preferred for purposes of poverty analysis, the IES and Census collect data at long (5 or 10 year) intervals, and additional years pass before these datasets become available to the public. In some cases there is also concern about data comparability between surveys. The expenditure data contained in the General Household Survey are available annually, although data are captured in a small number of categories that are not very conducive to analysis at the lower end of the income distribution. Analysis on AMPS data confirms the large decline in poverty implied by an increase of R18 billion (in 2000 Rand) in social grant payments between 2000 and 2004. The direction of this trend is consistent with recent research findings based on more frequently analysed data sources, including the work done by Agüero, Carter and May (2005), Seekings (2006 ) and Meth (2006 ). Copyright (c) 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation (c) Economic Society of South Africa 2008.

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File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1813-6982.2008.00161.x
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Article provided by Economic Society of South Africa in its journal South African Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 76 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (03)
Pages: 58-76

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Handle: RePEc:bla:sajeco:v:76:y:2008:i:1:p:58-76
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  1. Murray Leibbrandt & James Levinsohn & Justin McCrary, 2005. "Incomes in South Africa since the fall of Apartheid," Working Papers 536, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  2. Servaas van der Berg & Megan Louw, 2003. "Changing Patterns of South African income distribution: Towards time series estimates of distribution and poverty," Working Papers 02/2003, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
  3. Cally Ardington & David Lam & Murray Leibbrandt & Matthew Welch, 2005. "The Sensitivity of Estimates of Post-Apartheid Changes in South African Poverty and Inequality to key Data Imputations," SALDRU/CSSR Working Papers 106, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  4. 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.
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