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Disability Cash Transfers in the Context of Poverty and Unemployment: The Case of South Africa

  • Mitra, Sophie

Summary South Africa's Disability Grant (DG) program has been criticized for its poor administration and the dependency culture it promotes. This paper assesses the program's targeting effectiveness and its effects on labor supply. Using disability self-reports and standard measures of economic well being, the results suggest that DG's inclusion errors are relatively limited but exclusion errors are substantial and serious. The paper also shows that increased leniency in disability screening policy in the Gauteng province in the early 2000s does not appear to have altered labor market behaviors relative to Northern Cape, a province where there was no change in policy.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

Volume (Year): 38 (2010)
Issue (Month): 12 (December)
Pages: 1692-1709

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Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:38:y:2010:i:12:p:1692-1709
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

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  1. Cally Ardington & Anne Case & Victoria Hosegood, 2007. "Labor Supply Responses To Large Social Transfers: Longitudinal Evidence From South Africa," Working Papers 1021, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  2. Sophie Mitra & Usha Sambamoorthi, 2009. "Wage differential by disability status in an agrarian labour market in India," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(14), pages 1393-1398.
  3. Hugo Benitez-Silva & Moshe Buchinsky & John Rust, 2004. "How Large are the Classification Errors in the Social Security Disability Award Process?," NBER Working Papers 10219, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Geeta Kingdon & John Knight, 2001. "Unemployment in South Africa: the nature of the beast," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2001-15, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  5. Brent Kreider, 1999. "Latent Work Disability and Reporting Bias," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(4), pages 734-769.
  6. Case, A. & Deaton, A., 1996. "Large Cash Transfers to the Elderly in South Africa," Papers 176, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  7. Stephan Klasen & Ingrid Woolard, 2009. "Surviving Unemployment Without State Support: Unemployment and Household Formation in South Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 18(1), pages 1-51, January.
  8. Anne Case & Victoria Hosegood & Frances Lund, 2004. "The Reach and Impact of Child Support Grants: Evidence from KwaZulu-Natal," Working Papers 167, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  9. Bound, John & Burkhauser, Richard V., 1999. "Economic analysis of transfer programs targeted on people with disabilities," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 51, pages 3417-3528 Elsevier.
  10. Gruber, Jonathan & Kubik, Jeffrey D., 1997. "Disability insurance rejection rates and the labor supply of older workers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 1-23, April.
  11. Sophie Mitra, 2008. "The Recent Decline in the Employment of Persons with Disabilities in South Africa, 1998-2006," Fordham Economics Discussion Paper Series dp2008-12, Fordham University, Department of Economics.
  12. Frikkie Booysen & Servaas Van Der Berg, 2005. "The Role Of Social Grants In Mitigating The Socio-Economic Impact Of Hiv/Aids In Two Free State Communities," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 73(s1), pages 545-563, December.
  13. Sophie Mitra, 2009. "Disability Screening and Labor Supply: Evidence from South Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 512-16, May.
  14. Coady, David P. & Grosh, Margaret & Hoddinott, John, 2002. "Targeting outcomes redux," FCND discussion papers 144, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  15. Dwyer, Debra Sabatini & Mitchell, Olivia S., 1999. "Health problems as determinants of retirement: Are self-rated measures endogenous?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 173-193, April.
  16. Jonathan Gruber, 1996. "Disability Insurance Benefits and Labor Supply," NBER Working Papers 5866, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. David H. Autor & Mark G. Duggan, 2003. "The Rise In The Disability Rolls And The Decline In Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 157-205, February.
  18. Parsons, Donald O., 1996. "Imperfect 'tagging' in social insurance programs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1-2), pages 183-207, October.
  19. Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 1990. "The Economic Well-Being of the Disabled: 1962-84," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(1), pages 32-54.
  20. Geeta Kingdon & John Knight, 2007. "Unemployment in South Africa, 1995--2003: Causes, Problems and Policies," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 16(5), pages 813-848, November.
  21. David Lam & Murray Leibbrandt & Vimal Ranchhod, 2005. "Labour force withdrawal of the elderly in South Africa," SALDRU/CSSR Working Papers 118, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  22. Deon Filmer, 2008. "Disability, Poverty, and Schooling in Developing Countries: Results from 14 Household Surveys," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 22(1), pages 141-163, January.
  23. Mitra, Sophie & Sambamoorthi, Usha, 2008. "Disability and the Rural Labor Market in India: Evidence for Males in Tamil Nadu," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 934-952, May.
  24. Standing Guy, 2008. "How Cash Transfers Promote the Case for Basic Income," Basic Income Studies, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-30, July.
  25. Mitra, Sophie, 2005. "Disability and social safety nets in developing countries," Social Protection Discussion Papers 32740, The World Bank.
  26. Yeo, Rebecca & Moore, Karen, 2003. "Including Disabled People in Poverty Reduction Work: "Nothing About Us, Without Us"," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 571-590, March.
  27. Johannes G. Hoogeveen, 2005. "Measuring Welfare for Small but Vulnerable Groups: Poverty and Disability in Uganda," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 14(4), pages 603-631, December.
  28. Michele Campolieti, 2004. "Disability Insurance Benefits and Labor Supply: Some Additional Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(4), pages 863-890, October.
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