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Changing Patterns of South African income distribution: Towards time series estimates of distribution and poverty

Author

Listed:
  • Servaas van der Berg

    () (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University)

  • Megan Louw

    () (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University)

Abstract

Research on income distribution in South Africa has, for obvious reasons, focused on inter-racial (inter-group) income distribution. Quite dramatic changes have occurred in inter-racial income distribution patterns since the 1970s, with the black share of income rising for the first time and at times exceeding the rise in their population share. This implies a narrowing inter-racial income gap. Data on income distribution remain scarce, so that it remains difficult to obtain the full picture about changes in income distribution. In particular, widening inequality within the black population has received much attention. Rises in black unemployment and in black wages have had inequality-inducing effects on black incomes. Is maldistribution of income between races now making way for maldistribution of income within race groups? Put differently, is inequality shifting from inter-group to intra-group inequality (from between group to within group inequality)? This paper pieces together information from various sources of data (censuses, household surveys, marketing surveys, published wage data series, etc.) to inform estimates of inter- and intra-group distribution over a longer time frame, in an effort to improve analysis of income inequality and poverty trends. These income distribution patterns also have considerable implications for the growth and evolution of the South African consumer market.

Suggested Citation

  • Servaas van der Berg & Megan Louw, 2003. "Changing Patterns of South African income distribution: Towards time series estimates of distribution and poverty," Working Papers 02/2003, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:sza:wpaper:wpapers8
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Leubolt, Bernhard., 2014. "Social policies and redistribution in South Africa," ILO Working Papers 994854833402676, International Labour Organization.
    2. Johan Fourie, 2006. "The South African poor white problem in the early 20th century: Lessons for poverty today," Working Papers 14/2006, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    3. Maciej, Szelewicki & Tyrowicz, Joanna, 2009. "Labour Market Racial Discrimination in South Africa Revisited," MPRA Paper 16440, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Charles Meth, 2007. "Flogging a dead horse: Attempts by van der Berg et al to measure changes in poverty and inequality," SALDRU Working Papers 9, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    5. van der Berg, Servaas & Burger, Ronelle & Louw, Megan, 2007. "Post-Apartheid South Africa: Poverty and Distribution Trends in an Era of Globalization," WIDER Working Paper Series 057, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    6. Michael Clemens, 2010. "A Labor Mobility Agenda for Development," Working Papers 201, Center for Global Development.
    7. Derek Yu, 2013. "Poverty and inequality estimates of National Income Dynamics Study revisited," Working Papers 05/2013, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    8. Servaas Van der berg & Megan Louw & Derek Yu, 2008. "Post-Transition Poverty Trends Based On An Alternative Data Source," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 76(1), pages 58-76, March.
    9. Nicolas Hérault, 2005. "A Micro-Macro Model for South Africa: Building and Linking a Microsimulation Model to a CGE Model," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2005n16, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    10. Sophie Mitra, 2008. "The Recent Decline In The Employment Of Persons With Disabilities In South Africa, 1998-2006," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 76(3), pages 480-492, September.
    11. Paula Armstrong & Bongisa Lekezwa & Krige Siebrits, 2008. "Poverty in South Africa: A profile based on recent household surveys," Working Papers 04/2008, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    12. Facundo Alvaredo & Anthony B Atkinson, 2010. "Colonial Rule, Apartheid and Natural Resources: Top Incomes in South Africa 1903-2005," OxCarre Working Papers 046, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
    13. Facundo Alvaredo & Leonardo Gasparini, 2013. "Recent Trends in Inequality and Poverty in Developing Countries," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0151, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    14. Nicolas Hérault, 2005. "Trade Liberalisation, Poverty and Inequality in South Africa: A CGE-Microsimulation Analysis," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2005n17, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    15. repec:ldr:wpaper:92 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. repec:ilo:ilowps:485483 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Finn, Arden & Leibbrandt, Murray & Oosthuizen, Morne, 2014. "Poverty, inequality, and prices in post-apartheid South Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series 127, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    18. Graham Brown & Arnim Langer, 2010. "Conceptualizing and Measuring Ethnicity," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(4), pages 411-436.
    19. Miquel Pellicer & Vimal Ranchhod & Mare Sarr & Eva Wegner, 2011. "Inequality Traps in South Africa: An overview and research agenda," SALDRU Working Papers 57, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    20. Carlos Gradín, 2013. "Race, Poverty and Deprivation in South Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 22(2), pages 187-238, March.
    21. Rulof Burger & Ingrid Woolard, 2005. "The State of the Labour Market in South Africa after the First Decade of Democracy," SALDRU/CSSR Working Papers 133, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    22. Reza C. Daniels, 2012. "A Framework for Investigating Micro Data Quality, with Application to South African Labour Market Household Surveys," SALDRU Working Papers 90, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    23. Kalie Pauw & Liberty Mncube, 2007. "The Impact of Growth and Redistribution on Poverty and Inequality in South Africa," Working Papers 07126, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
    24. Wilkinson, Kate, 2009. "Adapting EUROMOD for use in a developing country - the case of South Africa and SAMOD," EUROMOD Working Papers EM5/09, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    25. Alvaredo, Facundo & Atkinson, Anthony B, 2010. "Colonial Rule, Apartheid and Natural Resources: Top Incomes in South Africa, 1903-2007," CEPR Discussion Papers 8155, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    income distribution; South Africa; time series; poverty;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D33 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Factor Income Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

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