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Social Assistance, Gender, And The Aged In South Africa

Author

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  • Justine Burns
  • Malcolm Keswell
  • Murray Leibbrandt

Abstract

This paper reviews the history of the noncontributory social pension in South Africa, as well as recent work on the distributional and poverty-alleviating effects of this program. The pension has a strong gender dimension, reaching three times as many women as men, and has an unambiguous impact on reducing household poverty, particularly among Black South African households. The existing literature also suggests that the pension reaches unintended beneficiaries within households and that strongly gender-differentiated patterns emerge both in the sharing of pension incomes by pensioners and in the behavioral responses of other household members to pension receipt.

Suggested Citation

  • Justine Burns & Malcolm Keswell & Murray Leibbrandt, 2005. "Social Assistance, Gender, And The Aged In South Africa," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(2), pages 103-115.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:11:y:2005:i:2:p:103-115
    DOI: 10.1080/13545700500115944
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Case, Anne & Deaton, Angus, 1998. "Large Cash Transfers to the Elderly in South Africa," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(450), pages 1330-1361, September.
    2. Esther Duflo, 2000. "Child Health and Household Resources in South Africa: Evidence from the Old Age Pension Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 393-398, May.
    3. Kingdon, Geeta Gandhi & Knight, John, 2004. "Unemployment in South Africa: The Nature of the Beast," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 391-408, March.
    4. Leibbrandt, M.V. & Woolard, C.D. & Woolard, I.D., 1996. "The Contribution of Income Components to Income Inequality in South Africa. A Decomposable Gini Analysis," Papers 125a, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Matthias Doepke & Michèle Tertilt, 2019. "Does female empowerment promote economic development?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 309-343, December.
    2. Alex Sienaert, 2007. "Migration, Remittances and Public Transfers: Evidence from South Africa," Economics Series Working Papers 351, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    3. Cecile Jackson, 2015. "Modernity and Matrifocality: The Feminization of Kinship?," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 46(1), pages 1-24, January.
    4. Pia Rattenhuber & Maria Jouste, 2018. "A role for universal pension? : Simulating universal pensions in Ecuador, Ghana, Tanzania, and South Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2018-23, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    5. Gordon, Nia & Godfrey, Erin & Aber, J. Lawrence & Richter, Linda, 2017. "Exploring patterns of receipt of cash grants, health care, and education among 7–10year old children in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 177-188.
    6. Maria Jouste & Pia Rattenhuber, 2019. "A Role for Universal Pension? Simulating Universal Pensions in Ecuador, Ghana, Tanzania and South Africa," International Journal of Microsimulation, International Microsimulation Association, vol. 12(1), pages 13-51.
    7. Pia Rattenhuber & Maria Jouste, 2018. "A role for universal pension? Simulating universal pensions in Ecuador, Ghana, Tanzania, and South Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series 023, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    8. Schatz, Enid & Ogunmefun, Catherine, 2007. "Caring and Contributing: The Role of Older Women in Rural South African Multi-generational Households in the HIV/AIDS Era," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 1390-1403, August.
    9. Michael Rogan, 2016. "Gender and Multidimensional Poverty in South Africa: Applying the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI)," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 126(3), pages 987-1006, April.
    10. Alexis Sienaert, 2008. "The Labour Supply Effects of the South African State Old Age Pension: Theory, Evidence and Implications," SALDRU Working Papers 20, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    11. Matthias Doepke & Michèle Tertilt, 2019. "Does female empowerment promote economic development?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 309-343, December.
    12. Schatz, Enid & Gómez-Olivé, Xavier & Ralston, Margaret & Menken, Jane & Tollman, Stephen, 2012. "The impact of pensions on health and wellbeing in rural South Africa: Does gender matter?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(10), pages 1864-1873.
    13. Kehinde O. Omotoso & Steven F. Koch, 2017. "Gender Differentials in Health: A Differences-in-Decompositions Estimate," Working Papers 201717, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.

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