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Poverty trends since the transition: What we know

Author

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  • Servaas van der Berg

    () (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)

  • Megan Louw

    () (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)

  • Leon du Toit

    () (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)

Abstract

Using alternative data sources on income and poverty with a shorter time lag makes it possible to discern trends that can inform the policy debate. A strong decline in poverty rates was recorded since 2000. This has since been confirmed by General Household Survey data that showed that the proportion of households with children reporting that their children had gone hungry in the previous year had almost halved between 2002 and 2006. This policy success would not have been tracked using the less regular and more conventional data sources such as the Income and Expenditure Survey of 2000 (IES2000). One successful policy measure – the social grant system – can be clearly identified. Through the child support grants, much of the expansion of the grants system was targeted at children. In contrast, other areas of policy intervention, in particular social delivery in health and education, have been far less successful. This Working Paper is part of longer, ongoing research on poverty and social poverty in the Department of Economics at Stellenbosch University. It first appeared as a publication that attempted to make available some of these research results to a wider public in an accessible and non-technical format.

Suggested Citation

  • Servaas van der Berg & Megan Louw & Leon du Toit, 2009. "Poverty trends since the transition: What we know," Working Papers 19/2009, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:sza:wpaper:wpapers92
    as

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    File URL: https://www.ekon.sun.ac.za/wpapers/2009/wp192009/wp-19-2009.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2009
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Derek Yu, 2013. "Poverty and inequality estimates of National Income Dynamics Study revisited," Working Papers 05/2013, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    2. Derek Yu, 2013. "Some factors influencing the comparability and reliability of poverty estimates across household surveys," Working Papers 03/2013, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    3. Haroon Bhorat & Tara Caetano & Benjamin Jourdan & Ravi Kanbur & Christopher Rooney & Benjamin Stanwix & Ingrid Woolard, 2016. "Investigating the Feasibility of a National Minimum Wage for South Africa," Working Papers 201601, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
    4. Judith Streak & Derek Yu & Servaas Van der Berg, 2009. "Measuring Child Poverty in South Africa: Sensitivity to the Choice of Equivalence Scale and an Updated Profile," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 94(2), pages 183-201, November.
    5. Luca Tiberti & Hélène Maisonnave & Margaret Chitiga & Ramos Mabugu & Véronique Robichaud & Stewart Ngandu, 2013. "The Economy-wide Impacts of the South African Child Support Grant: a Micro-Simulation-Computable General Equilibrium Analysis," Cahiers de recherche 1303, CIRPEE.
    6. Robert Mattes, 2014. "South Africa’s Emerging Black Middle Class: A Harbinger of Political Change?," WIDER Working Paper Series 147, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    7. repec:spr:soinre:v:134:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1433-z is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Servaas van der Berg & Krige Siebrits, 2010. "Social assistance reform during a period of fiscal stress," Working Papers 17/2010, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    9. Haroon Bhorat & Carlene Van Der Westhuizen & Derek Yu, 2014. "The Silent Success: Delivery of Public Assets Since Democracy," Working Papers 201403, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Poverty; Inequality; Redistribution; Fiscal incidence; Social delivery; South Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies

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