Timothy Köhler on SA’s labour market: is a national lockdown as severe as we think?

21 May 2021
JEL Code: E26, F62, H12, H53, I00, J40, J46, J48, J60

It is just over a year since South Africa had to succumb to what was considered one of the most draconian national lockdowns, and as expected, we have noticed a decline in economic growth accompanied by a negative shock to our labour market leaving 2,2 million people unemployed in the second quarter of 2020. In this podcast, we are joined by Timothy Köhler from the Development and Policy Unit at the University of Cape Town’s School of Economics, who developed a novel quasi-experimental econometric technique to estimate the causal employment effects on South Africa’s national lockdown. We treat this word carefully in economics and by overcoming data challenges induced by the nature of the lockdown, Tim unpacks how much of the labour market was impacted by the policy, as well as how the labour market is recovering since the economy’s restrictions were lifted. It is not what you think. We hope you enjoy Tim’s insights as much as we did, and for policy makers interested in what issues need to be addressed in our labour market, this podcast is especially for you!

To learn more about this topic, take a look at Tim's working paper and webinar.

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The beat used in this production, called ‘Resolutions’, is royalty free and can be found at freebeats.io.