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The Effect of Household Characteristics on Living Standards in South Africa 1993 - 98: A Quantile Regression Analysis with Sample Attrition

  • Farshid Vahid

    ()

  • Pushkar Maitra

    ()

This paper examines whether the dismantling of apartheid has resulted in the improvement in the standard of living for the vast majority of South Africans. The study is based on a panel data set from the Kwazulu-Natal province. Despite the best efforts of the interview team, the attrition rate in this panel is around 16%. We find that household income and size in 1993, several community characteristics and survey quality in 1993 significantly affect the probability of attrition. We use weighted quantile regressions to examine the distribution of standards of living, which corrects for the potential bias arising from non-random sample attrition. Our results show that there has been a significant increase in the spread of the distribution of household expenditure of the Non-White households residing in Kwazulu-Natal province. We argue that the stretch to the right of the upper tail of distribution can be attributed to significant increase in returns to primary and high school education, while movement to the left of the lower quantiles can be associated with the increase in the proportion of female headed households and household size.

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File URL: http://cbe.anu.edu.au/researchpapers/econ/wp452.pdf
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Paper provided by Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics in its series ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics with number 2005-452.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: May 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:acb:cbeeco:2005-452
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  8. Maitra, Pushkar & Ray, Ranjan, 2003. "The effect of transfers on household expenditure patterns and poverty in South Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 23-49, June.
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  10. Mwabu, Germano & Schultz, T Paul, 1996. "Education Returns across Quantiles of the Wage Function: Alternative Explanations for Returns to Education by Race in South Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 335-39, May.
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  16. Buchinsky, Moshe, 1995. "Estimating the asymptotic covariance matrix for quantile regression models a Monte Carlo study," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 303-338, August.
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  18. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
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  22. Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2002. "Inverse probability weighted M-estimators for sample selection, attrition and stratification," CeMMAP working papers CWP11/02, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  23. Thomas, D. & Frankenberg, E. & Smith, J.P., 2000. "Lost But Not Forgotten Attribution and Follow-up in the Indonesian Family Life Survey," Papers 00-03, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
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