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The South African informal sector (1997 – 2006)

Author

Listed:
  • Hassan Essop

    () (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University)

  • Derek Yu

    () (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University)

Abstract

According to the 2006 September Labour Force Survey, approximately 22% of the employed (excluding domestic workers and agricultural employment) are engaged in informal sector activities as their main work to sustain themselves and their dependents. Given the large size of the informal sector in relation to the formal sector, it is imperative to understand the dynamics and trends within the informal sector. This paper provides a detailed quantitative descriptive analysis of the South African informal sector between 1997 and 2006 using the October Household Survey and the Labour Force Survey data, adding to the work on informal markets done by authors such as Devey, Skinner & Valodia (2003, 2006a, 2006b), Muller (2003) and Muller & Posel (2004). Such an analysis could not only enhance the informal sector literature currently available, but also increase the depth of analysis available to policy makers.

Suggested Citation

  • Hassan Essop & Derek Yu, 2008. "The South African informal sector (1997 – 2006)," Working Papers 03/2008, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:sza:wpaper:wpapers51
    as

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    File URL: https://www.ekon.sun.ac.za/wpapers/2008/wp032008/wp-03-2008.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2008
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Blunch, Niels-Hugo & Canagarajah, Sudharshan & Raju, Dhushyanth, 2001. "The informal sector revisited : a synthesis across space and time," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 23308, The World Bank.
    2. 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.
    3. Kingdon, Geeta Gandhi & Knight, John, 2004. "Unemployment in South Africa: The Nature of the Beast," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 391-408, March.
    4. 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.
    5. Richard Devey & Caroline Skinner & Imraan Valodia, 2006. "Second Best? Trends and Linkages in the Informal Economy in South Africa," Working Papers 06102, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    South Africa; Household survey; Labour market trends; informal sector;

    JEL classification:

    • J00 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - General

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