Trends in Poverty and Inequality since the Political Transition
Using a constructed data series and another data series based on the All Media and Products surveys (AMPS), this paper explores trends in poverty and income distribution over the post-transition period. To steer clear of an unduly optimistic conclusion, assumptions are chosen that would tend to show the least decline in poverty. Whilst there were no strong trends in poverty for the period 1995 to 2000, both data series show a considerable decline in poverty after 2000, particularly in the period 2002-2004. Poverty dominance testing shows that this decline is independent of the poverty line chosen or whether the poverty headcount, the poverty ratio or the poverty severity ratio are used as measure. We find likely explanations for this strong and robust decline in poverty in the massive expansion of the social grant system as well as possibly in improved job creation in recent years. Whilst the collective income of the poor (using our definition of poverty) was only R27 billion in 2000, the grants (in constant 2000 Rand values) have expanded by R22 billion since. Even if the grants were not well targeted at the poor (and in the past they have been), a large proportion of this spending must have reached the poor, thus leaving little doubt that poverty must have declined substantially. However, there are limits to the expansion of the grant system as a meaNS of poverty alleviation, pointing to the importance of economic growth with job creation for sustaining the decline in poverty The data also shows that there is substantial progress in economic terms amongst some Black, who have managed to join the middle class. This expansion was most rapid at the upper end of the income spectrum – Blacks constituted about half the growth of this segment of the consumer market in the period 1995-2004.
|Date of creation:||Mar 2006|
|Publication status:||Published in Working Paper Series by the Development Policy Research Unit, March 2006, pages 1-49|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Private Bag X3, Rondebosch, 7701|
Phone: +27 21 650 5705
Fax: +27 21 650 5711
Web page: http://www.dpru.uct.ac.za
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Murray Leibbrandt & Haroon Bhorat, 1999. "Correlates of Vulnerability in the South African Labour Market," Working Papers 99027, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
- Angus Deaton, 2005.
"Measuring Poverty in a Growing World (or Measuring Growth in a Poor World),"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 87(1), pages 1-19, February.
- Angus Deaton, 2003. "Measuring Poverty in a Growing World (or Measuring Growth in a Poor World)," NBER Working Papers 9822, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Angus Deaton, 2004. "Measuring poverty in a growing world (or measuring growth in a poor world)," Working Papers 178, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
- Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2002. "The world distribution of income (estimated from individual country distributions)," Economics Working Papers 615, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised May 2002.
- Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2002. "The World Distribution of Income (estimated from Individual Country Distributions)," NBER Working Papers 8933, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Haroon Bhorat, 2004. "Labour Market Challenges In The Post-Apartheid South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 72(5), pages 940-977, December.
- 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.
- Anne Case & Angus Deaton, 1996. "Large Cash Transfers to the Elderly in South Africa," NBER Working Papers 5572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Case, A. & Deaton, A., 1996. "Large Cash Transfers to the Elderly in South Africa," Papers 176, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
- Cally Ardington & David Lam & Murray Leibbrandt & Matthew Welch, 2005. "The Sensitivity of Estimates of Post-Apartheid Changes in South African Poverty and Inequality to key Data Imputations," SALDRU/CSSR Working Papers 106, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ctw:wpaper:06104. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Waseema Petersen)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.