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Have Labour Market Outcomes Affected Household Structure in South Africa? A Descriptive Analysis of Households

Listed author(s):
  • Farah Pirouz


    (School of Economic and Business Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand)

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    This paper seeks to investigate how the demography of households relates to individual labour market outcomes. We comprehensively examine household size and structures in the October Household Surveys 1995, 1997, 1999 and the Labour Force Surveys September 2001 and 2002. Over the 1995-2002 period, the number of households has increased in the face of rising unemployment and the average household size has decreased signifi cantly. A rising proportion of single households mostly drives this result. We further investigate how such changes in the patterns of household composition could be correlated to changes in labour force participation rates, unemployment rates, and employment rates. We fi nd that employment rates in smaller households are substantially higher und unemployment rates lower than in larger households with more than two adult members. The shares of workless households where no member is employed, and fully employed households, where all working age adult members earn income from work, tell about employment polarisation. In particular, the share of households with unemployed members has doubled to 27 per cent in 2002, and the share of workless households, in which no member is employed, has risen to a third of all South African households. The results highlight some of the wider welfare effects of job losses and other economic variables on households in South Africa.

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    File Function: First version, 2005
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    Paper provided by University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit in its series Working Papers with number 05100.

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    Length: 24 pages
    Date of creation: Oct 2005
    Publication status: Published in Working Paper Series by the Development Policy Research Unit, October 2005, pages 1-24
    Handle: RePEc:ctw:wpaper:05100
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    1. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan & Douglas Miller, 2003. "Public Policy and Extended Families: Evidence from Pensions in South Africa," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(1), pages 27-50, June.
    2. 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.
    3. Martin Wittenberg, 2001. "Conflictual intra-household allocations," Working Papers 211, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
    4. 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.
    5. repec:pri:rpdevs:wittenberg_intrahousehold_allocations is not listed on IDEAS
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