A Long‐run Perspective on Contemporary Poverty and Inequality Dynamics

Murray Leibbrandt, Ingrid Woolard and Christopher Woolard

in South African Economic Policy under Democracy

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780199551460
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720376 | DOI:
A Long‐run Perspective on Contemporary Poverty and Inequality Dynamics

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This chapter describes inequality and poverty trends in South Africa over the long run. In an attempt to provide an integrated review of apartheid and post-apartheid inequality trends, Section 2 uses census data to provide an empirical summary of inequality trends from 1970 to 2001. Section 3 updates this review through to 2006 by summarizing some of the recent debates around measured changes in poverty and inequality over the last decade. Section 4 presents and discusses a set of inequality decompositions by income source. This provides the backdrop for more detailed discussions of the performance of the post-apartheid labour market in Section 5 and the role of social grants in Section 6. Section 7 briefly summarizes the major points from the preceding sections and concludes by exploring implications of this empirical analysis for inequality and poverty going forward.

Keywords: South Africa; post-apartheid inequality; poverty trends; inequality decompositions; social grants

Chapter.  12267 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Economics

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