Formal–Informal Economy Linkages And Unemployment In South Africa
South Africa's high involuntary unemployment and small informal sector are attributed to an underperforming formal sector and barriers to entry in the informal sector. This paper examines the economywide linkages between the formal and informal economies while accounting for different types of informal activities. A multiregion empirically calibrated general equilibrium model is developed capturing both product and labor markets. Three policy options are considered. First, results indicate that trade liberalization reduces national employment. At the same time, it increases formal employment, hurts informal producers, and favors informal traders, who benefit from lower import prices. Past liberalization may, therefore, partly explain South Africa's small informal sector and its concentration among traders rather than producers. Second, wage subsidies on low-skilled formal workers increase national employment but hurt informal producers by heightening competition in domestic product markets. This suggests that it is insufficient to examine unemployment policies by focusing only on labor markets. Third, unconditional cash transfers stimulate demand for informally produced products, thereby raising informal employment without undermining formal producers. The transfer does, however, place a large fiscal burden on the state and is less effective at reducing national unemployment than a wage subsidy. Overall, these findings underline the importance of distinguishing between the formal and informal sector implications of socioeconomic policies.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
To our knowledge, this item is not available for
download. To find whether it is available, there are three
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.
Volume (Year): 78 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0038-2280
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/subs.asp?ref=0038-2280|
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- Kingdon, Geeta Gandhi & Knight, John, 2004.
"Unemployment in South Africa: The Nature of the Beast,"
Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 391-408, March.
- Geeta G. Kingdon & John B. Knight, 2001. "Unemployment in South Africa: The nature of the beast," CSAE Working Paper Series 2001-15, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
- Geeta Kingdon & John Knight, 2004. "Unemployment in South Africa: the nature of the beast," Labor and Demography 0409003, EconWPA.
- Maloney, William, 2003.
Policy Research Working Paper Series
2965, The World Bank.
- Schultz, T.P. & Mwabu, G., 1997.
"Labor Unions and the Distribution of Wages and Employment in South Africa,"
776, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
- T. Paul Schultz & Germano Mwabu, 1998. "Labor unions and the distribution of wages and employment in South Africa," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(4), pages 680-703, July.
- Thurlow, James, 2002.
"Can South Africa afford to become Africa's first welfare state?,"
139, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Thurlow, James, 2002. "Can South Africa afford to become Africa's first welfare state?," FCND discussion papers 139, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- 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.
- Vimal Ranchhod, 2009.
"Household responses to adverse income shocks: Pensioner out-migration and mortality in South Africa,"
SALDRU Working Papers
35, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
- Vimal Ranchhod, 2009. "Household responses to adverse income shocks: Pensioner out-migration and mortality in South Africa," Working Papers 133, Economic Research Southern Africa.
- Kalie Pauw & Lawrence Edwards, 2005.
"Evaluating the general equilibrium effects of a wage subsidy scheme for South Africa,"
21, Economic Research Southern Africa.
- Kalie Pauw & Lawrence Edwards, 2006. "Evaluating The General Equilibrium Effects Of A Wage Subsidy Scheme For South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 74(3), pages 442-462, 09.
- T. Paul Schultz & Germano Mwabu, 1998. "Labor Unions and the Distribution of Wages and Employment in South Africa," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(4), pages 680-703, July.
- Daniela Casale & Colette Muller & Dorrit Posel, 2004. "'Two Million Net New Jobs': A Reconsideration Of The Rise In Employment In South Africa, 1995-2003," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 72(5), pages 978-1002, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:sajeco:v:78:y:2010:i:4:p:437-459. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.