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.

Research seminar
SA-TIED will hold a seminar on the gender wage gap in South Africa's manufacturing sector.
12 February 2020
inequality
Research seminar
SA-TIED will hold a seminar on minimum wages and firm dynamics, using evidence from the agricultural sector and South African administrative tax da
17 January 2020
inequality
In the media
In speech to parliament, Finance Minister praises SA-TIED
by SA-TIED
During a speech to parliament on Tuesday, South Africa’s Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, discussed the important work being carried out by the...
12 December 2019
enterprise_development
public_revenue
macroeconomics
inequality
climate
regional_growth
Policy dialogue
The purpose of the workshop is to engage in a collaborative dialogue with policymakers in the areas of growth and employment in order to share the
18 November 2019
enterprise_development
inequality
Project meeting
Researchers from the Turning the tide on inequality work stream of th
13 November 2019
inequality
Working paper
by Joshua Budlender
The South African economy is generally understood to be characterised by high levels of product market concentration and high firm markups. This...
09 October 2019
inequality
Research Brief
SA-TIED Research Brief 2019/5
by SA-TIED
In the case of South Africa, there are stark and persistent racial inequalities which are important to consider when analysing differences in the...
16 September 2019
inequality
In the media
SA-TIED
An expert with the SA-TIED programme was interviewed on an eNCA national news broadcast
11 September 2019
inequality
Vacancy
SA-TIED
The United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), together with its partners, now invites interested pa
06 September 2019
enterprise_development
public_revenue
macroeconomics
inequality
climate
regional_growth
News
by SA-TIED
Econ3x3 has published a blog by SA-TIED researchers on their most recent working paper covering poverty, inequality, and the precarity of the middle...
26 August 2019
inequality
In the media
SA-TIED research on inequality and social mobility featured in prominent SA business weekly feature
by SA-TIED
Murray Leibbrandt, who co-leads the SA-TIED work stream on Turning the tide on inequality, was interviewed by Financial Mail this week for a feature...
23 August 2019
inequality
Research Brief
Photo: UNICEF, South Africa, Marinovich
by SA-TIED
South Africa is often cited as the most unequal economy in the world. Its experience of having to overcome both colonialism and apartheid makes it...
22 August 2019
inequality