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
Job spells in an emerging market - Evidence from apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa
Robert Hill, Kezia Lilenstein, and Amy Thornton
Few studies exist on job duration in developing labour markets—an important omission both in our understanding of such markets and for the job...
18 March 2020
inequality
Technical workshop
SA-TIED will hold a 3-day training workshop on the use of Stata for staff from the National Treasury.
05 March 2020
inequality
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
Technical workshop
SA-TIED will hold a 3-day training course on data analysis using Stata, including computer-based training.
18 November 2019
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
Working paper
SA-TIED Working Paper #72
by Samaa Zien, Colette Muller, and Claire Vermaak
A sharp increase in the number of immigrants in South Africa has raised questions about the impact of immigration on the labour market. Whether or...
13 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