Structural transformation, labour markets, and inequality dynamics

Despite its position as the economic hub of the Southern African region, South Africa has the unenviable position of being the most unequal society in the world. This work stream attempts to understand how historical, social, economic, financial, fiscal, and environmental issues contribute to this inequality.

Researchers will analyze these contributions to deep inequality while looking at the demographic, social, and labour market dynamics that contribute to the persistence of poverty and inequality. Through this work, we aim to provide policymakers with insights and solutions that can strengthen the emerging policy options on reducing poverty and inequality and contributing to inclusive growth.

What data is used for this research?

A new dataset provides previously unavailable administrative tax data which will allow researchers to look more deeply at inequality dynamics, particularly the labour market dynamics that condition it. In Phase II, work stream 3 will continue to develop this novel dataset, augmenting it with additional data sources from other government institutions.

Blog
by Joshua Budlender and Amina Ebrahim
The Employment Tax Incentive was introduced in 2014 in response to South Africa’s chronic structural youth unemployment crisis. Its aim was to encourage employers to hire young people by subsidizing their wages. ‘High youth unemployment,’...
November 2022
Labour market and inequality
Vacancies
by SA-TIED
Closing date: 14 November 2022 at 23:59 (GMT +2) Station: National Treasury, Pretoria, South Africa UNU-WIDER is looking for an outstanding individual with strong data skills, commitment and potential to contribute to the SA-TIED programme...
October 2022
Enterprise development
Public revenue
Labour market and inequality
Report
Sarah Truen
After the South African democratic transition, substantial advances were made in the provision of water services to households which had previously not been supplied. However, more recently, the pace of progress has slowed, and technical...
July 2022
Labour market and inequality
Phase 1 regional growth
Report
SA-TIED
This report is a summary of the SA-TIED programme’s major research contributions to the policy environment. These contributions are not policy proposals, but are meant to inform the policymaking process and fill important gaps in...
January 2022
Enterprise development
Public revenue
Macro-fiscal analysis
Labour market and inequality
Climate and energy
Phase 1 regional growth
Working paper
Maya Goldman, Ihsaan Bassier, Joshua Budlender, Lindi Mzankomo, Ingrid Woolard, and Murray Leibbrandt
We use a fiscal incidence model based on the South African 2014/15 Living Conditions Survey to simulate the poverty reduction impacts of a selection of medium-to-long-term social grant options with the goal of replacing the...
November 2021
Public revenue
Labour market and inequality
Working paper
Lutendo Maiwashe
This study measures the incidence, depth, and severity of health poverty in South Africa, using ordinal self-reported data from the National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS) for 2008–17. The resultant trend is decomposed using a Shapley...
July 2021
Labour market and inequality
Working paper
Joshua Budlender and Amina Ebrahim
We present new evidence on the effects of South Africa’s Employment Tax Incentive (ETI), a hiring and employment wage subsidy aimed at reducing youth unemployment. We show that attempts to estimate firm-level treatment effects via...
July 2021
Labour market and inequality
Working paper
Lateef Olalekan Bello
Substance abuse is a significant public concern for global society. Using the National Income Dynamic Study wave four data, this study applies the multinomial endogenous switching regression technique to examine the impact of substance use...
March 2021
Labour market and inequality
Working paper
Simone Schotte and Rocco Zizzamia
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...
March 2021
Labour market and inequality