/turning-tide-inequality

Turning the tide on inequality

Under this work stream UNU-WIDER, the National Treasury (NT), and the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) will work jointly to address distributional issues in both the bottom half and the top of the income distribution. While South Africa’s peaceful transition from racial domination to democracy is rightly acclaimed, lack of progress towards a more balanced distribution of opportunities and income raises difficult political and economic questions. What kinds of social, economic or institutional change might contribute to more rapid transformation of opportunities for the bottom half of the household income distribution? What kinds of constraints on power and privilege might contribute to fairer outcomes at the top tail of the distribution? These are practical and political questions of interest both in South Africa and internationally, and they are economic and institutional questions of considerable complexity.

The research will further explore topics, such as the shape of the personal income tax curve, pricing of public health services, housing finance, regulation of land ownership, and access to vocational education. The determinants of opportunity at the bottom and the top of the income distribution have both common features and important differences.

The aim is to examine both commonalities and divergences, and explore options for reform that might yield better outcomes. The intention also is to explore the inter-connections between different aspects of social, institutional and economic progress — how patterns of educational opportunity relate to labour market outcomes, how household living conditions affect schooling or health, how urban–rural linkages relate to earnings trends, for example.

Working paper
Caro Janse Van Rensburg, Carli Bezuidenhout, Marianne Matthee, and Victor Stolzenburg
Inequality has been rising in most countries for several decades, with negative consequences for social cohesion and economic growth. Substantial gender wage gaps contribute significantly to overall wage inequality. We look at an often-overlooked driver...
August 2020
Inequality
Technical workshop
4 Aug 2020 / 10:00 to 11 Nov 2020 / 14:00
Inequality
SA-TIED will hold a 5-day online training course on using the data analysis software, R. The course will build capacity and support South African officials to manage and use economic data to carry out policy-relevant...
Working paper
Takwanisa Machemedze, Andrew Kerr, and Rob Dorrington
The existing sources of demographic data for South Africa have different strengths and limitations that make them inadequate for calibration of sample weights in post-apartheid South African household surveys. The official mid-year population estimates produced...
July 2020
Inequality
Working paper
Andrew Kerr
The IRP5 and IT3(a) tax data from the South African Revenue Service have been made available to researchers through a joint project between the South African Revenue Service, the National Treasury, and UNU-WIDER. In this...
May 2020
Inequality
Working paper
Jacomien Van Der Merwe and Stephan Krygsman
The purpose of this research is to investigate whether transport accessibility influences the employment duration of individuals in South Africa. The South African Revenue Service’s IRP5 administration datasets, which indicate employment duration and spatial location...
May 2020
Inequality
Working paper
Marlies Piek, Dieter von Fintel and Johann Kirsten
This paper analyses firms’ responses to the 50% increase in agricultural minimum wages in 2013 and contributes to the South African minimum wage literature by investigating firm dynamics and minimum wages. The paper uses administrative...
May 2020
Inequality
Working paper
Andrew Kerr and Aroop Chatterjee
Research on earnings inequality in South Africa has almost entirely used household survey data. This work has shown the earnings inequality is extremely high and has remained high or even increased in the post-Apartheid period...
May 2020
Inequality