Market Access and Wages disparities: Evidence from the South African Revenue Service and National Treasury Firm‐Level Panel



The proposed research project aims to analyse spatial wage disparities in the South African economy using new economic geography models. It extends available literature in the field by using the South African Revenue Service and National Treasury employee-employer level data to control for selected individual characteristics, and more importantly firm specific characteristics.

This study provides insight into how spatial wage variation may contribute towards aggregate inequality measures in the country. In doing so, the proposed paper relates to the SA-TIED workstream on structural transformation and inequality. In addition, this study will shed light on the spatial inclusivity of the South African’s growth path. In this way, it also relates to the SA-TIED workstream on enterprise development for job creation.Three key research exercises will be carried out: i) We will present background statistics on the
spatial distribution and spatial dependence of wages across regions in South Africa. ii) Examine how
spatial wage distribution has changed over time. iii) Identify how market access and new economic
geography forces affect South African wage disparities.



Sanduku Mulumba
Institution: University of Cape Town