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South Africa

Publications (427)

Working Paper pdf
– Income and taxable income, adjusted for retirement fund and medical expense reporting changes
Andrew R. Donaldson - UNU-WIDER, 2023 - Helsinki, Finland

Tax administration statistics now provide considerably more complete and reliable measures of South African personal income and its distribution than the available household or other survey sources. However, there are difficulties in using tax data across time, as both policy and reporting...

Technical Note pdf
Dirk van Seventer, Rob Davies - UNU-WIDER, 2023 - Helsinki, Finland

This technical note describes the compilation of a 2019 Social Accounting Matrix (SAM) for South Africa. SAMs are economy-wide databases that are used together with analytical techniques to strengthen evidence-based policy analysis. This SAM is based on a supply table and a use table for 2019...

Working Paper pdf
– Examining the impact of relative income on formal and informal debt in South Africa
Shakeba Foster - UNU-WIDER, 2023 - Helsinki, Finland

How does income inequality impact the propensity for and levels of formal and informal household debt? This paper assesses this question using the two most recent waves of the South African Living Conditions Survey. A range of linear models as well as a zero-inflated Poisson model are employed...

– Bosses are part of the problem
Ihsaan Bassier - , 0

South Africa is one of the most unequal countries in the world. This income inequality is mostly due to high unemployment and large differences in wages. In South Africa today, economists and policymakers typically focus on worker characteristics such as education to address wage...

Journal Article This peer-reviewed research is available free of charge. UNU-WIDER believes that research is a global public good and supports Open Access.
– A view from below
Simone Schotte, Rocco Zizzamia - Social Indicators Research, 2023

This paper investigates the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and related policy measures on livelihoods in urban South Africa. Using qualitative research methods, we analyse two rounds of semi-structured phone interviews, conducted between June and September 2020 in the township of Khayelitsha,...

Working Paper pdf
– Individual impacts of the Employment Tax Incentive
Amina Ebrahim, Jukka Pirttilä - UNU-WIDER, 2022 - Helsinki, Finland

This paper uses survey and tax administrative data to analyse the effects of a sizeable employer-borne payroll tax credit for young, low-wage workers in South Africa. We find limited impact of the wage subsidy on employment of young, low-wage workers relative to two comparison groups: slightly...

Working Paper pdf
– Evidence from South Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic
Timothy Köhler, Robert Hill, Haroon Bhorat - UNU-WIDER, 2022 - Helsinki, Finland

Wage subsidies have served as a primary labour market policy used around the world to mitigate job losses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In South Africa, where unemployment is among the highest globally, the Temporary Employer–Employee Relief Scheme supported millions of workers in a...

Working Paper pdf
Jacqueline Mosomi, Amy Thornton - UNU-WIDER, 2022 - Helsinki, Finland

Previous economic downturns such as the 2008–09 Global Financial Crisis disproportionately affected male employment due to greater contractions in industries typically filled by men (e.g., manufacturing). However, after the imposition of the ‘hard’ COVID-19 lockdown between 2020...

Working Paper pdf
Ewa Karwowski, Hanna Szymborska, Keagile Lesame, Tlhologelo Thoka - UNU-WIDER, 2022 - Helsinki, Finland

Globally, corporate cash holdings have risen since the 1980s. In South Africa, some commentators have accused corporations of engaging in an ‘investment strike’, while others see corporate liquidity as a precaution against systemic uncertainty. We use the unique South African...

Journal Article This peer-reviewed research is available free of charge. UNU-WIDER believes that research is a global public good and supports Open Access.
Daniel Grieco, Francesco Bripi - Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2022

Anecdotal evidence suggests that involving beneficiaries in charity decision-making ensures better governance processes. This study provides the first experimental test of the effects of beneficiaries’ participation in the decision of how to spend a charity's funds. We consider four...

Working Paper pdf
– Estimating the impact of pandemic job loss on poverty in South Africa
Ihsaan Bassier, Joshua Budlender, Maya Goldman - UNU-WIDER, 2022 - Helsinki, Finland

Up-to-date, nationally representative household income/expenditure data are crucial to estimating poverty during the COVID-19 pandemic and to policy-making more broadly, but South Africa lacks such data. We present new pandemic poverty estimates, simulating incomes in pre-pandemic household...

Amina Ebrahim - UNU-WIDER, 2022 - Helsinki, Finland

‘I intend to see a world in which tax policy research is based on evidence, and policy decisions are data-driven.’ This is an aspiration expressed by a participant of the WIDER Winter School 2022. The comment summarizes well the reasoning behind the course and UNU-WIDER’s goals...

Journal Article This peer-reviewed research is available free of charge. UNU-WIDER believes that research is a global public good and supports Open Access.
– Poverty dynamics and inequality in South Africa between 2008 and 2017
Simone Schotte, Rocco Zizzamia, Murray Leibbrandt - South African Journal of Economics , 2022

 Longitudinal surveys allow us to understand how markers of (dis)advantage determine present material welfare and economic upward or downward mobility over time. In this paper, we use five waves of panel data to empirically assess the extent and dynamics of poverty in South Africa between...

Working Paper pdf
Kwabena Adu-Ababio - UNU-WIDER, 2022 - Helsinki, Finland

This paper calculates automatic stabilization in Ghana, South Africa, and Ecuador to explain income cushioning amid income and demand shocks. Fiscal policies within these countries are also stress tested to gauge welfare contingencies and insurance. A discretionary action approach is adopted...

Working Paper pdf
– An exploration of tensions over race-based policies of redress and redistribution in South Africa
Ayabonga Cawe - UNU-WIDER, 2022 - Helsinki, Finland

Capital spending on infrastructure presents a significant counter-cyclical tool, however contested it might be in a society as unequal as South Africa. The history of racial capitalism, race-based exclusion from economic participation, and an enduring political economy based on the...

Displaying 16 of 427 results.