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Post-Apartheid South Africa: Poverty and Distribution Trends in an Era of Globalization

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  • Van der Berg, Servaas
  • Louw, Megan
  • Burger, Ronelle

Abstract

South Africa’s transition to democracy in 1994 created new possibilities for economic policy. Economic liberalization brought sustained, if unspectacular, growth that reversed the long decline in per capita incomes, but left its scars in much job shedding associated with business becoming internationally competitive. This accords with international evidence that trade liberalization takes time to realize positive employment effects. Disappointing employment growth in the face of an expanding labourforce fed rising unemployment. However, using poverty estimates from a combination of sources, this study demonstrates that poverty nevertheless declined quite substantially after the turn of the century. Poverty dominance testing shows this conclusion to be insensitive to the selection of poverty line or measure. But empirical analysis does not allow strong conclusions to be drawn on causal relationships between globalization and poverty trends.

Suggested Citation

  • Van der Berg, Servaas & Louw, Megan & Burger, Ronelle, 2007. "Post-Apartheid South Africa: Poverty and Distribution Trends in an Era of Globalization," MPRA Paper 9065, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:9065
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. James H Cross, 2003. "Global integration and capital account liberalisation in South Africa," BIS Papers chapters,in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), China's capital account liberalisation: international perspective, volume 15, pages 104-116 Bank for International Settlements.
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    4. Janine Aron & John Muellbauer, 2000. "Financial liberalisation, consumption and debt in South Africa," CSAE Working Paper Series 2000-22, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    5. Seshanna, Shubhasree & Decornez, Stephane, 2003. "Income polarization and inequality across countries: an empirical study," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 335-358, June.
    6. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-766, May.
    7. Carmen M. Reinhart & Ioannis Tokatlidis, 2003. "Financial Liberalisation: The African Experience," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 12(Supplemen), pages 53-88, September.
    8. Duclos, Jean-Yves & Echevin, Damien, 2005. "Bi-polarization comparisons," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 249-258, May.
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    10. Murray Leibbrandt & James Levinsohn & Justin McCrary, 2005. "Incomes in South Africa Since the Fall of Apartheid," NBER Working Papers 11384, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Servaas van der Berg & Ronelle Burger & Rulof Burger & Megan Louw & Derek Yu, 2005. "Trends in poverty and inequality since the political transition," Working Papers 01/2005, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    12. Francisco Rodriguez & Dani Rodrik, 2001. "Trade Policy and Economic Growth: A Skeptic's Guide to the Cross-National Evidence," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15, pages 261-338 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Servaas Van Der Berg & Megan Louw, 2004. "Changing Patterns Of South African Income Distribution: Towards Time Series Estimates Of Distribution And Poverty," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 72(3), pages 546-572, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Steven F. Koch & Gauthier Tshiswaka-Kashalala, 2008. "Tobacco Substitution and the Poor," Working Papers 200832, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    2. Leubolt, Bernhard., 2014. "Social policies and redistribution in South Africa," ILO Working Papers 994854833402676, International Labour Organization.
    3. Maciej, Szelewicki & Tyrowicz, Joanna, 2009. "Labour Market Racial Discrimination in South Africa Revisited," MPRA Paper 16440, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Marisa Coetzee, 2013. "Finding the Benefits: Estimating the Impact of The South African Child Support Grant," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 81(3), pages 427-450, September.
    5. A. J. Bebbington & D. Mitlin & J. Mogaladi & M. Scurrah & C. Bielich, 2010. "Decentring Poverty, Reworking Government: Social Movements and States in the Government of Poverty," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(7), pages 1304-1326.
    6. Francesca Giubilo, 2010. "What Could be the Future of South Africa After National Elections on 22 April 2009?," Transition Studies Review, Springer;Central Eastern European University Network (CEEUN), vol. 16(4), pages 948-961, February.
    7. repec:ilo:ilowps:485483 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    trade; labour; South Africa; globalization;

    JEL classification:

    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty

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