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Disability Cash Transfers in the Context of Poverty and Unemployment: the Case of South Africa

  • Sophie Mitra

    (Fordham University, Department of Economics)

South Africa's Disability Grant program has been widely criticized for its poor administration and the dependency culture it promotes. This paper attempts to assess the Disability Grant program's targeting effectiveness and its effects on labor market behaviors. Using disability self reports and standard measures of economic well being, results suggest that the Disability Grant is relatively well targeted. Exclusion and inclusion errors are substantial but are comparable to those found in developed countries' disability programs. Increased leniency in disability screening in the program in selected provinces does not appear to have altered labor market behaviors between 2001 and 2003.

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Paper provided by Fordham University, Department of Economics in its series Fordham Economics Discussion Paper Series with number dp2009-08.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:frd:wpaper:dp2009-08
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.fordham.edu/economics/
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  1. Case, Anne & Deaton, Angus, 1998. "Large Cash Transfers to the Elderly in South Africa," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(450), pages 1330-61, September.
  2. Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 1990. "The Economic Well-Being of the Disabled: 1962-84," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(1), pages 32-54.
  3. Anne Case & Victoria Hosegood & Frances Lund, 2004. "The Reach and Impact of Child Support Grants: Evidence from KwaZulu-Natal," Working Papers 167, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  4. Parsons, Donald O., 1996. "Imperfect 'tagging' in social insurance programs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1-2), pages 183-207, October.
  5. Stephen Klasen & Ingrid Woolard, 2005. "Surviving unemployment without state support: Unemployment and household formation in South Africa," SALDRU/CSSR Working Papers 129, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  6. Frikkie Booysen & Servaas Van Der Berg, 2005. "The Role Of Social Grants In Mitigating The Socio-Economic Impact Of Hiv/Aids In Two Free State Communities," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 73(s1), pages 545-563, December.
  7. Coady, David P. & Grosh, Margaret & Hoddinott, John, 2002. "Targeting outcomes redux," FCND discussion papers 144, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  8. Deon Filmer, 2008. "Disability, Poverty, and Schooling in Developing Countries: Results from 14 Household Surveys," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 22(1), pages 141-163, January.
  9. Geeta Kingdon & John Knight, 2005. "Unemployment in South Africa, 1995-2003: Causes, Problems and Policies," Economics Series Working Papers GPRG-WPS-010, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  10. Mitra, Sophie & Sambamoorthi, Usha, 2008. "Disability and the Rural Labor Market in India: Evidence for Males in Tamil Nadu," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 934-952, May.
  11. Debra S. Dwyer & Olivia S. Mitchell, . "Health Problems as Determinants of Retirement: Are Self-Rated Measures Endogenous?," Pension Research Council Working Papers 98-7, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
  12. Mitra, Sophie, 2005. "Disability and social safety nets in developing countries," Social Protection Discussion Papers 32740, The World Bank.
  13. Brent Kreider, 1999. "Latent Work Disability and Reporting Bias," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(4), pages 734-769.
  14. Jonathan Gruber, 1996. "Disability Insurance Benefits and Labor Supply," NBER Working Papers 5866, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Cally Ardington & Anne Case & Victoria Hosegood, 2008. "Labor supply responses to large social transfers: Longitudinal evidence from South Africa," Working Papers 1010, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  16. Geeta Kingdon & John Knight, 2004. "Unemployment in South Africa: the nature of the beast," Labor and Demography 0409003, EconWPA.
  17. Johannes G. Hoogeveen, 2005. "Measuring Welfare for Small but Vulnerable Groups: Poverty and Disability in Uganda," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 14(4), pages 603-631, December.
  18. Michele Campolieti, 2004. "Disability Insurance Benefits and Labor Supply: Some Additional Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(4), pages 863-890, October.
  19. Sophie Mitra & Usha Sambamoorthi, 2009. "Wage differential by disability status in an agrarian labour market in India," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(14), pages 1393-1398.
  20. David Lam & Murray Leibbrandt & Vimal Ranchhod, 2005. "Labour force withdrawal of the elderly in South Africa," SALDRU/CSSR Working Papers 118, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  21. David H. Autor & Mark G. Duggan, 2003. "The Rise In The Disability Rolls And The Decline In Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 157-205, February.
  22. Bound, John & Burkhauser, Richard V., 1999. "Economic analysis of transfer programs targeted on people with disabilities," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 51, pages 3417-3528 Elsevier.
  23. Sophie Mitra, 2008. "The Recent Decline In The Employment Of Persons With Disabilities In South Africa, 1998-2006," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 76(3), pages 480-492, 09.
  24. Standing Guy, 2008. "How Cash Transfers Promote the Case for Basic Income," Basic Income Studies, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-30, July.
  25. Sophie Mitra, 2009. "Disability Screening and Labor Supply: Evidence from South Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 512-16, May.
  26. Hugo Benitez-Silva & Moshe Buchinsky & John Rust, 2005. "How Large are the Classification Errors in the Social Security Disability Award Process?," Department of Economics Working Papers 05-02, Stony Brook University, Department of Economics.
  27. Yeo, Rebecca & Moore, Karen, 2003. "Including Disabled People in Poverty Reduction Work: "Nothing About Us, Without Us"," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 571-590, March.
  28. Gruber, Jonathan & Kubik, Jeffrey D., 1997. "Disability insurance rejection rates and the labor supply of older workers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 1-23, April.
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