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Half Measures: The ANC's Unemployment and Poverty Reduction Goals

  • Charles Meth

    ()

    (University of KaZulu-Natal)

Simulations suggest that under the most optimistic conditions, halving the official rate of unemployment would require 3.7 million jobs to be created between 2004 and 2014. Halving the number of expanded unemployed under pessimistic assumptions about the growth rate of the economically active would require 11 million jobs in the same period. Unlike unemployment, poverty levels can, through the social security system, be directly affected by government. One of the goals of the United Nations Millennium Declaration is to halve absolute poverty (defined, in the absence of a national poverty line, as being below $1(US)/day). In the first place, there is no agreed poverty line. Given the margin of ignorance in the data examined, it is probably impossible to say much about poverty headcounts, rates or gaps at the poverty line chosen to denote absolute poverty. As the poverty line is raised, the number of poor stabilises at a high level (roughly 20 million). It shows little sensitivity to increases in the assumed values of the social wage.

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Paper provided by University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit in its series Working Papers with number 04089.

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Length: 89 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Working Paper Series by the Development Policy Research Unit, December 2004, pages 1-89
Handle: RePEc:ctw:wpaper:04089
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  1. Angus Deaton, 2003. "How to Monitor Poverty for the Millennium Development Goals," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(3), pages 353-378.
  2. Clemens, Michael A. & Kenny, Charles J. & Moss, Todd J., 2007. "The Trouble with the MDGs: Confronting Expectations of Aid and Development Success," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 735-751, May.
  3. Kanbur, Ravi, 2004. "Growth, Inequality And Poverty: Some Hard Questions," Working Papers 127133, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  4. Snower, Dennis J, 1995. "Evaluating Unemployment Policies: What Do the Underlying Theories Tell Us?," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 110-35, Spring.
  5. Anna McCord, 2004. "Policy Expectations and Programme Reality: The Poverty Reduction and Labour Market Impact of Two Public Works Programmes in South Africa," Working Papers 8, Economics and Statistics Analysis Unit (ESAU), Overseas Development Institute.
  6. Peter Saunders, 1998. "Defining Poverty and Identifying the Poor: Reflections on the Australian Experience," Discussion Papers 0084, University of New South Wales, Social Policy Research Centre.
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