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
SA-TIED Working Paper #63
Andrew Kerr and Martin Wittenberg
Traditionally, analysts of the South African labour market have used household survey data to describe earnings and employment in the post-Apartheid...
01 June 2019
inequality
In the media
Timothy Shipp
A study by Simone Schotte, Rocco Zizzamia, and Murray Leibbrandt was cited in The Economist, 25 April 2019 print edition; the article is available...
24 May 2019
inequality
Working paper
SA-TIED Working Paper #59
Ihsaan Bassier
Using administrative tax records from South Africa for the period 2011–14, I find that firm wage premia explain 25 per cent of the total wage...
15 May 2019
inequality
In the media
New research sheds light on the Gender Pay Gap in South Africa
by SA-TIED
A new paper from the SA-TIED programme by University of Cape Town researcher Jacqueline Mosomi was the subject of an article first appearing on Bus
13 May 2019
inequality
Vacancy
Vacancy - Research Assistant
UNU-WIDER is looking for an outstanding individual with strong commitment and potential to contribute to the SA-TIED programme. Station: National...
24 April 2019
enterprise_development
public_revenue
inequality
Vacancy
Vacany Datalab Assistant
by SA-TIED
UNU-WIDER is hiring a datalab assistant to support the data work and research efforts under the SA-TIED programme, a new data lab facility at the...
28 March 2019
enterprise_development
public_revenue
inequality
Working paper
SA-TIED Working Paper #54
by Amina Ebrahim and Kezia Lilenstein
This paper has three primary objectives. First, it provides a broad overview of the available South African data used to examine gender in the labour...
28 March 2019
inequality
Working paper
SA-TIED Working Paper #53
by Aroop Chatterjee
Understanding wealth inequality has unique significance in South Africa. The co-existence of extreme poverty and extreme wealth is starkly visible....
28 March 2019
inequality
Working paper
SA-TIED Working Paper #33
Rocco Zizzamia, Simone Schotte, and Murray Leibbrandt
Longitudinal surveys can give insight into economic mobility, which allows us to understand how markers of (dis)advantage are consequential in...
25 March 2019
inequality
Working paper
SA-TIED Working Paper 32
by Morné Oosthuizen
Differences in the economic lifecycle between countries at different levels of development suggest that there may be differences between sub-...
25 March 2019
inequality
Working paper
Jacqueline Mosomi
More than two decades after the demise of apartheid, policy makers and researchers are interested in the changes in the South African labour market....
25 March 2019
inequality
Blog
Research that matters - a research work shop in Pretoria in November
by Timothy Shipp
I found myself in the third-floor conference rooms of a Pretoria hotel for a meeting with economists, researchers, and policymakers involved in the...
14 December 2018
public_revenue
inequality