inequality

Inequality in South Africa: what does a composite index of wellbeing reveal?

Policymakers need better information regarding wellbeing inequality to ascertain the contributing factors and to determine whether policy has been successful in improving the spread over time. In this paper, we construct a multidimensional composite wellbeing measure, at a micro level, which includes “economic and non-economic” and “objective and subjective measures” of wellbeing. We use NIDS data spanning the period 2008 – 2015. We compare the results on measuring wellbeing inequality using the composite index and income.

Benefits of regulation vs competition where inequality is high: The case of mobile telephony in South Africa

We test for the distributional effects of regulation and entry in the mobile telecommunications sector in a highly unequal country, South Africa. Using six waves of a consumer survey of over 134,000 individuals between 2009-2014, we estimate a discrete-choice model allowing for individual-specific price-responsiveness and preferences for network operators. Next, we use a demand and supply equilibrium framework to simulate prices and the distribution of welfare without entry and mobile termination rate regulation.

Effects of Wildlife Resources on Community Welfare: Income, Poverty and Inequality

This paper demonstrates the importance of wildlife in the portfolio of environmental income in the livelihoods of poor rural communities living adjacent to a national park. The results show that wealthier households consumed more wildlife products in total than relatively poor households. However, poorer households derive greater benefit from the consumption of wildlife resources than wealthier households. Excluding wildlife compromised the relative contribution of environmental resources while at the same time increasing the relative contribution of farm and wage income.

Estimating Income Mobility When Income is Measured with Error: The Case of South Africa

There are long-standing concerns that household income mobility is over-estimated due to measurement errors in reported incomes, especially in developing countries where collecting reliable survey data is often difficult. We propose a new approach that exploits the existence of three waves of panel data to can be used to simultaneously estimate the extent of income mobility and the reliability of the income measure.

Addressing structural change issues in the context of South Africa's political dispensation

Biniam E. Bedasso

The current structure of South Africa’s economy is partly a product of the terms of the country’s political dispensation. The availability of capital mobility as an exit option is a key aspect of South Africa’s negotiated democracy. As long as inequality remains high, capital continues to gravitate towards sectors emendable for expedient capital mobility such as finance. Promoting manufacturing investment in a high inequality environment may require tailor-made policy innovations that are compatible with existing political constraints. Such policies include weaving industry-specific property rights provisions with the industrial policy framework and creating a sizable political constituency for industry-led development.

Political transition in a small open economy: Retracing the economic trail of South Africa’s long walk to democracy

This paper seeks to offer an economic explanation for the emergence of democracy in societies with high income inequality and narrow middle-class such as Apartheid South Africa. The presence of a credible threat of capital flight is shown to render democracy less unpleasant to the elites by making future tax concessions possible. However, inequality should be sufficiently low for the poor to have enough incentive to concede less redistribution to avoid capital flight.

Economic Growth and Inequality: Evidence from the Young Democracies of South America

We investigate in this paper whether income growth has played any role on inequality in all nine young South American democracies during 1970-2007. The results, based on dynamic panel time-series analysis, suggest that income growth has played
a progressive role in reducing inequality during the period. Moreover, the results suggest that this negative relationship is stronger in the 1990s and early 2000s, a period in which the continent achieved macroeconomic stabilisation, political consolidation

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