Browsing by Author "Bhorat, Haroon"
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- ItemEmployment, earnings and vulnerability in the South African labour market : an empirical investigation based on official survey data(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2003-03) Bhorat, Haroon; Van der Berg, Servaas; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. Dept. of Economics.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The welfare challenge that faces South Africa in the post-apartheid period is, at its core, defined by the high levels of poverty and inequality in the society. The labour market, as a provider of wages to individuals and ultimately households, remains the key transmitter of these poverty and inequality outcomes in the society. This specific line of reasoning is the underlying intellectual thrust of this thesis: namely that the state of poverty and inequality in a society is mirrored by, and perhaps more strongly - determined and shaped - by the state of its labour market. The thesis therefore focuses in the first instance on employment trends in South Africa since 1970, across two discrete time periods. The intention is to sketch the changing patterns of labour demand in South Africa, with a particular focus on how these patterns have yielded differential gains for different occupation, race, gender and education cohorts. Ultimately, these uneven employment patterns remain one of the most significant factors shaping South Africa's poverty and inequality challenges. The inequality challenge, so often thought of in terms of households only, is analysed here purely in terms of the employed. The starting point once again, is that it is precisely these earnings that contribute to the extraordinarily high inequality levels in South Africa. This analysis imparts information about the manner in which intra-employed wage inequality is structured and furthermore, how South Africa compares in the international context. A major contribution of the thesis is to, through more formal measures of poverty, apply these to labour market-defined individuals, rather than households, which is the norm in the literature. The point of departure is of course that poverty, or vulnerability, expresses itself through individuals in the labour market, and is thereby transmitted at the household level. Hence a significant component of the dissertation attempts a formal measurement and modelling of the degree of poverty and vulnerability in the South African labour market. These welfare challenges for a society though, should not only be analysed, but rather solved as well. Hence the final two chapters of the dissertation attempts to examine two very recent policy options mooted in South Africa, and through using simulation techniques, attempts to estimate both the costs and benefits of instituting these two alternatives which are explicitly aimed at reducing poverty, vulnerability and inequality in the society.