Rapidly increasing top incomes amid low national growth in South Africa
Despite South Africa’s need for inclusive economic growth, we find that the top income percentiles continue to diverge from the rest of the income distribution.
We compare household survey data and tax data (which, unlike household survey data, includes accurate data for the very rich) to investigate the patterns of income growth over the period 2003-18.
We find that the gap between the stagnant middle and the top end of the income distribution widened, particularly over the post‐recession period. We also show that the divergence was partly driven by high returns to capital for those with top incomes.