Journal Article

Race, Poverty and Deprivation in South Africa

Carlos Gradín

in Journal of African Economies

Volume 22, issue 2, pages 187-238
Published in print March 2013 | ISSN: 0963-8024
Published online September 2012 | e-ISSN: 1464-3723 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jae/ejs019
Race, Poverty and Deprivation in South Africa

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  • Welfare and Poverty
  • Demographic Economics
  • Labour Discrimination
  • Microeconomics
  • Economic Development
  • Welfare Economics
  • Labour Standards: National and International

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The aim of this paper was to explain why poverty and material deprivation in South Africa are significantly higher among those of African descent than among whites. To do so, we estimate the conditional levels of poverty and deprivation Africans would experience had they the same characteristics as whites. By comparing the actual and counterfactual distributions, we show that the racial gap in poverty and deprivation can be attributed to the cumulative disadvantaged characteristics of Africans, such as their current level of educational attainment, demographic structure and area of residence, as well as to the inertia of past racial inequalities. Progress made in the educational and labour market outcomes of Africans after apartheid explains the reduction in the racial poverty differential.

Keywords: D31; D63; I32; J15; J71; J82; O15

Journal Article.  15277 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Welfare and Poverty ; Demographic Economics ; Labour Discrimination ; Microeconomics ; Economic Development ; Welfare Economics ; Labour Standards: National and International

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