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COVID-19 in South Africa: An Intersectional Perspective based on Socio-economic Modeling and Indigenous Knowledge Base


  • Khan, Haider


This paper examines pandemic relief and development policies through the case study of South Africa during COVID-19 in order to create a broader understanding about problems facing developing countries during such crises. Specifically, it evaluates the strengths and limits of the government’s current policy approach. Furthermore, it proposes a more socially relevant quantitatively derived package through a model based counterfactual policy experiment that can connect immediate relief with long-run development policies from a socially embedded capabilities perspective. The paper uses an intersectional approach and utilizes Social Accounting Matrix (SAM) to identify the production sectors that are not only the most impacted and are the most vulnerable, but also have room for maximal future development. It also makes a preliminary attempt to posit possible improvements in people’s well-being based on indigenous knowledge. Indigenous knowledge systems can be integrated with modified existing public health models. Our multisectoral analysis highlights the importance of the indigenous knowledge base in evaluations of people’s well-being. Our study finds specific production activities such as agriculture, construction, land transport, mining and real estate sectors to be labor-intensive and vital to the economy. With proper modifications, the methodology and framework used for South Africa will be applicable for other developing countries. This will help direct immediate resources strategically and efficiently to key areas of the developing economies for optimal development from a capabilities perspective.

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  • Khan, Haider, 2021. "COVID-19 in South Africa: An Intersectional Perspective based on Socio-economic Modeling and Indigenous Knowledge Base," MPRA Paper 108321, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:108321

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    1. repec:cup:cbooks:9780511761942 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:cup:cbooks:9780511771576 is not listed on IDEAS
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    6. Khan, Haider A., 1999. "Sectoral Growth and Poverty Alleviation: A Multiplier Decomposition Technique Applied to South Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 521-530, March.
    7. Daron Acemoglu & Victor Chernozhukov & Ivàn Werning & Michael D. Whinston, 2020. "A Multi-Risk SIR Model with Optimally Targeted Lockdown," CeMMAP working papers CWP14/20, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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    Cited by:

    1. Haider, Khan & Szymanski-Burgos, Adam, 2021. "COVID-19 and Strategic Sectors in Brazil: A Socially-Embedded Intersectional Capabilities Approach," MPRA Paper 109022, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Khan, Haider & Szymanski-Burgos, Adam, 2021. "Modeling the Social Economy of Pandemics in China: An Input-Output Approach," MPRA Paper 109021, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item


    Keywords: Covid-19; socially embedded capabilities; intersectionality; Social Accounting Matrix; Development; South Africa;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A1 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics
    • A2 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

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