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Poverty and ethnicity among black South Africans

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  • Gradin, Carlos

Abstract

This paper investigates inequalities across the major black ethnic groups in South Africa, accounting for 80 per cent of the country’s population. We demonstrate that there is an important ethnic gap in the poverty levels of the Xhosa and the Zulu with respect to the Sotho/Tswana. We also show that these gaps are largely associated with the former groups having an accumulation of disadvantages in location, demographic structure, education, and labour market outcomes. The analysis of the evolution that occurred after the end of apartheid shows that the gap might have increased, especially in the case of the Zulu.

Suggested Citation

  • Gradin, Carlos, 2014. "Poverty and ethnicity among black South Africans," WIDER Working Paper Series 113, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp2014-113
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Carlos Gradin, 2009. "Why is Poverty So High Among Afro-Brazilians? A Decomposition Analysis of the Racial Poverty Gap," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(9), pages 1426-1452.
    2. Myeong-Su Yun, 2005. "A Simple Solution to the Identification Problem in Detailed Wage Decompositions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(4), pages 766-772, October.
    3. Lorenzo Cappellari & Stephen P. Jenkins, 2004. "Modelling low income transitions," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(5), pages 593-610.
    4. Carlos Gradín, 2012. "Poverty among minorities in the United States: explaining the racial poverty gap for Blacks and Latinos," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(29), pages 3793-3804, October.
    5. Thomas Bossuroy, 2011. "Ethnic Solidarity and the Individual Determinants of Ethnic Identification," Working Papers 242, Economic Research Southern Africa.
    6. Yun, Myeong-Su, 2004. "Decomposing differences in the first moment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 275-280, February.
    7. Even, William E. & Macpherson, David A., 1990. "Plant size and the decline of unionism," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 393-398, April.
    8. Arden Finn & Murray Leibbrandt & James Levinsohn, 2014. "Income mobility in a high-inequality society: Evidence from the first two waves of the National Income Dynamics Study," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(1), pages 16-30, January.
    9. Thomas Bossuroy, 2011. "Ethnic Solidarity and the Individual Determinants of Ethnic Identification," SALDRU Working Papers 69, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    10. William E. Even & David A. Macpherson, 1993. "The Decline of Private-Sector Unionism and the Gender Wage Gap," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(2), pages 279-296.
    11. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
    12. Ronald L. Oaxaca & Michael R. Ransom, 1999. "Identification in Detailed Wage Decompositions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(1), pages 154-157, February.
    13. Daniel Neff, 2007. "Subjective Well-Being, Poverty and Ethnicity in South Africa: Insights from an Exploratory Analysis," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 80(2), pages 313-341, January.
    14. Haroon Bhorat & Carlene van der Westhuizen & Pranushka Naidoo, 2006. "Shifts in Non-Income Welfare in South Africa: 1993-2004," Working Papers 06108, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
    15. Murray Leibbrandt & Arden Finn & Ingrid Woolard, 2012. "Describing and decomposing post-apartheid income inequality in South Africa," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(1), pages 19-34, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), 2016. "Global Nutrition Report 2016: From Promise to Impact: Ending Malnutrition by 2030," IFPRI books, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), number 978-0-89629-584-1.

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    Keywords

    poverty; ethnicity; South Africa; Xhosa; Zulu; Sotho/Tswana;

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