Regional disparities in income-independent quality of life in South Africa: convergence or divergence?

Working paper 739
Dr. Stephanié Rossouw and Dr. Talita Greyling
Publication date: 
March, 2018

The purpose of this study is to add to the empirical literature regarding quality of life convergence dynamics. It achieves this by analysing and comparing income and income-independent quality of life (IIQoL) convergence dynamics across South Africa's 234 municipalities for the period 1996-2014. The study tested for convergence and utilised dynamic panel methods (systems GMM). The results indicate unconditional convergence in both income and IIQoL but at different rates. IIQoL is converging at a faster rate, which echoes the fact that poorer regions can achieve more than one would expect given their levels of per capita income. The significant conditions for growth in IIQoL, is found to be policy regarding poverty alleviation, level of human capital, level of income inequality and spare capacity. Policy should lean towards those municipalities, which are not able to translate their income growth into similar non-income quality of life gains.

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