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Throwing the Book at the CSG


  • Katherine Eyal

    () (SALDRU, School of Economics, University of Cape Town)

  • Ingrid Woolard

    () (SALDRU, School of Economics, University of Cape Town)


We estimate the effect of the child support grant on mothers' labour supply in South Africa. Identification is based on the use of specific samples, such as black mothers, aged 20 to 45, whose youngest child is aged within 2 years of the age eligibility cut-off, and unanticipated variation over the years in the age eligibility cut-off. Balancing tests across the age cut-o s are used to show that there are no significant differences between mothers of eligible and ineligible children in the samples used, over the years. Different techniques are used to estimate the effect of the child support grant from many angles, including simple OLS as a bench mark, a difference in difference estimator, using appropriately constructed treatment and control groups, instrumental variables estimates, and descriptive analysis. The effect of having an age eligible child is large. Mothers who become recipients in their twenties see an average increase in employment probability of 15%, and in labour force participation of 9%. Many robustness and specification checks are used, including placebo regressions in the pre-treatment years, to ensure the estimated effect is not due to age or another variable.

Suggested Citation

  • Katherine Eyal & Ingrid Woolard, 2011. "Throwing the Book at the CSG," SALDRU Working Papers 53, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  • Handle: RePEc:ldr:wpaper:53

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Martin Wittenberg, 2009. "Sample Survey Calibration: An Informationtheoretic perspective," SALDRU Working Papers 41, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    2. Colette Muller, 2003. "Measuring South Africa’s Informal Sector: An Analysis of National Household Surveys," Working Papers 03071, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
    3. Martin Wittenberg, 2010. "An introduction to maximum entropy and minimum cross-entropy estimation using Stata," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 10(3), pages 315-330, September.
    4. 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.
    5. Malcolm Keswell & Laura Poswell, 2004. "Returns To Education In South Africa: A Retrospective Sensitivity Analysis Of The Available Evidence," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 72(4), pages 834-860, September.
    6. Rulof Burger & Derek Yu, 2006. "Wage trends in post-apartheid South Africa: Constructing an earnings series from household survey data," Working Papers 10/2006, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    7. Golan, Amos & Judge, George G. & Miller, Douglas, 1996. "Maximum Entropy Econometrics," Staff General Research Papers Archive 1488, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    8. Dorrit Posel, 2003. "The collection of national household survey data in South Africa (1993-2001): Rendering labour migration invisible," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 361-368.
    9. Nicola Branson & Martin Wittenberg, 2007. "The Measurement Of Employment Status In South Africa Using Cohort Analysis, 1994-2004," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 75(2), pages 313-326, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alessandro Tondini & Cally Ardington & Ingrid Woolard, 2017. "Public pensions and elderly informal employment: Evidence from a change in retirement age in South Africa," SALDRU Working Papers 206, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    2. Margherita Scarlato & Giorgio D'Agostino, 2016. "Gender Disparities In The South African Labour Market: The Impact Of The Child Support Grant," Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre' 0210, Department of Economics - University Roma Tre.
    3. Luca Tiberti & Hélène Maisonnave & Margaret Chitiga & Ramos Mabugu & Véronique Robichaud & Stewart Ngandu, 2013. "The Economy-wide Impacts of the South African Child Support Grant: a Micro-Simulation-Computable General Equilibrium Analysis," Cahiers de recherche 1303, CIRPEE.
    4. Frederick C.v.N. Fourie, 2011. "The South African unemployment debate: three worlds, three discourses?," SALDRU Working Papers 63, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    5. d'Agostino, Giorgio & Scarlato, Margherita, 2016. "Gender Inequality in the South African Labour Market: the Impact of the Child Support Grant," MPRA Paper 72523, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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