This paper analyses the economy-wide impact of the national minimum wage on the South African economy. The analysis was conducted using a static computable general equilibrium (CGE) model of South Africa, which captured the observed structure of South Africa’s economy. The parameters of the CGE equations were calibrated to observed data from a social accounting matrix (SAM) for 2010. One policy option with three scenarios was considered.
Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
This paper estimates the impact of health on employment and earnings among individuals aged 15-39 years in South Africa. Though one of the richest countries in Africa, South Africa is plagued by substantial disease burden especially from communicable diseases, injuries, maternal and child mortality, and non-communicable diseases. The country also has very high unemployment rates, with the unemployment rate among those aged 15-24 years exceeding 50% in 2014 (according to the International Labour Organization definition).
The South African labour market is characterised by sharp segmentation, high unemployment and apparently limited informal sector employment. Recent work has focussed on the importance of the quality of education while others have argued that the rigidity of the labour market constrains employment growth. This paper considers the spatial aspects of the day labour market and argues that the size and proximity of economic activity found in agglomerations ensure a thick labour market that allows for better matching between workers and jobs.
Using nationally representative household survey data from 1995 to 2006, this paper explores heterogeneity among female part-time wage (salaried) workers in post-apartheid South Africa, specifically distinguishing between individuals who choose to work part-time and part-time workers who report wanting to work longer hours. As in studies of voluntary and involuntary part-time employment in other countries, the findings show that involuntary part-time workers in South Africa are outnumbered by voluntary part-time workers.
In this paper we explore the relationship between English language proficiency and earnings in South Africa, using new data from the first wave of the National Income Dynamics panel survey of 2008. Much of the literature on this topic has studied the impact on earnings of host country language acquisition among minority groups of immigrants to developed countries.
Using nationally representative household survey data from 1995 to 2006, this paper explores the gender wage gap among part-time and full-time salaried workers in post-apartheid South Africa, considering specifically how the magnitude of the gender-wage gap and the factors contributing to this gap have changed over time. The results, which are robust to the imputation of values for missing earnings information, provide evidence of a gender gap in wages among both part-time and full-time workers that persists once measurable differences between men and women are accounted for.
Studies of the wage effects of unions in South Africa have been concerned largely with the impact of union membership on the wages of African and White male workers. Consistent with findings in the international literature, these studies have concluded that unions compress the distribution of wages in South Africa, and more specifically, that racial inequality is lower in the union sector than in the non-union sector.
This paper explores the degree to which imperfect information in the labour market regarding worker quality is likely to impact employment opportunities, as well as the wages associated with those opportunities. The primary purpose of this paper is to provide preliminary empirical evidence that market imperfections exist in South Africa's labour market, that those imperfections could be based on asymmetric private information, and that market participants pursue information gathering and revelation strategies to help mitigate the negative effects of the information asymmetries.
Commentators claim a shortage of skills, particularly artisanal labour, in South Africa is constraining output and that a rise in skill supply would benefit less skilled occupations. This assumes/implies skilled and unskilled labour are q-complements. This paper estimates Hicks Elasticities of Complementarity and elasticities of factor price. Aggregate estimates suggest more skilled (white collar) labour complements less skilled (blue collar) labour, so a rise in skill supply would lead to a rise in demand for less skilled labour.
In this paper, we investigate female part-time employment in South Africa. Using household survey data for South Africa from 1995 to 2004, we show that women are over-represented in part-time employment, and that the growth in part-time work has been an important feature of the feminisation of the labour force. In contrast to many studies of part-time work in other countries, however, we find evidence of a significant wage premium to female part-time employment.