IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/rza/wpaper/617.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Social mobility during South Africa’s industrial take-off

Author

Listed:
  • Jeanne Cilliers
  • Johan Fourie

Abstract

In the absence of historical income or education data, the change in occupations over time can be used as a measure of social mobility. This paper investigates intergenerational occupational mobility using a novel genealogical dataset for settler South Africa, spanning its transition from an agricultural to an early industrialized society (1800–1909). We identify fathers and sons for whom we have complete information on occupational attainment. We follow a two-generation discrete approach to measure changes in both absolute and relative mobility over time. Consistent with qualitative evidence of a shift away from agriculture as the economy’s dominant sector, we see the farming class shrinking and the skilled and professional classes growing. Controlling for changes in the structure of the labor market over time, we find increasing upward social mobility, becoming significant following the discovery of minerals in 1868. We find this mobility particularly for semi-skilled workers but virtually no improved mobility for sons of farmers. We also test hypotheses related to the mobility prospects for first-born sons and sons of immigrants.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeanne Cilliers & Johan Fourie, 2016. "Social mobility during South Africa’s industrial take-off," Working Papers 617, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  • Handle: RePEc:rza:wpaper:617
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.econrsa.org/node/1248
    Download Restriction: no

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Jeanne Cilliers & Martine Mariotti, 2017. "The Shaping of a Settler Fertility Transition: Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century South African Demographic History Reconsidered," CEH Discussion Papers 08, Centre for Economic History, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    2. Meier zu Selhausen, Felix & van Leeuwen, Marco & Weisdorf, Jacob, 2017. "Social Mobility among Christian Africans: Evidence from Anglican Marriage Registers in Uganda, 1895-2011," CEPR Discussion Papers 11767, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intergenerational mobility; Social Mobility; resource curse; industrialization; colonialism; longitudinal data;

    JEL classification:

    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • N37 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Africa; Oceania

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rza:wpaper:617. 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: (Charles Tanton). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/ersacza.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.