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Labor Markets During Apartheid in South Africa

  • Martine Mariotti

    ()

Conventional wisdom holds that international political pressure and domestic civil unrest in the mid-1970s and 1980s brought an end to apartheid in South Africa. I show that, prior to these events, labor market pressure in the late 1960s/early 1970s caused a dramatic unraveling of apartheid in the workplace. Increased educational attainment among whites reduced resistance to opening semi-skilled jobs to Africans. This institutional change reflected white economic preferences rather than a relaxation of attitudes toward apartheid. I show that whites benefited from the relaxation of job reservation rules and that this is the primary cause of black occupational advancement.

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File URL: https://www.cbe.anu.edu.au/researchpapers/econ/wp503.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 2009-503.

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Length: 36 Pages
Date of creation: Feb 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:acb:cbeeco:2009-503
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  1. Claudia Goldin, 1990. "Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gold90-1, August.
  2. Lawrence F. Katz & Kevin M. Murphy, 1991. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963-1987: Supply and Demand Factors," NBER Working Papers 3927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Knight, J B & McGrath, M D, 1977. "An Analysis of Racial Wage Discrimination in South Africa," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 39(4), pages 245-71, November.
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