Wealth mobility, familial ties and migration : evidence from the Cape of Good Hope panel

Nel, Heinrich (2020-03)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT : Mobility estimation is a means of quantifying how likely an individual is to improve their socio-economic status. Research concerning mobility has recently seen an upswing, mainly as a result of the rise in global socio-economic inequality. The less mobile a society is, the more persistent socio-economic status across time or generations will be. It would be easier for individuals and households in a highly mobile society to escape their relative levels of poverty. African cliometric has traditionally been neglected. The deficiency in research output is the result of an absence of quality data with which to examine questions relating to issues such as wealth dynamics, mobility, inequality and migration. More recently, an increase in the availability of quality data sources has contributed to the surge in African economic history. South Africa, and the Cape Colony in particular, has enjoyed the greatest focus. The availability of a long-run longitudinal dataset allows this dissertation to approach research questions that have gone largely untouched for a historically underdeveloped society in a pre-industrial context. This dissertation provides an understanding of historical wealth mobility and behaviours relating to migration. It further contextualises South Africa’s current high levels of land and wealth inequality. The first subject of analysis in this dissertation is examining agricultural wealth mobility and how it influenced out-migration from two Cape Colony districts. The objective is to compare the ability of two different districts, most notably in terms of geographic characteristics and agricultural activities, to provide opportunities for socio-economic advancement, as well as settler migratory decisions in the absence of such opportunities. This dissertation estimates wealth mobility and survival models of out-migration from districts. Hazard rates generated from this survival analysis are included in the wealth mobility models to analyse how a lack of mobility related to migratory decisions. Households that were more likely to migrate, were generally those that exhibited less agricultural wealth mobility. As a second theme for investigation, this dissertation explores out-migration further, but adopts a psychological approach. The effect of birth order and name inheritance is analysed as they relate to migration. Name inheritance is used as a proxy for a loyalty effects as opposed to a primogeniture effect in which earlier born sons inherited more. The aim is to establish which effect dominates. Psychology and loyalty effect is not significant in determining out-migration of settler sons. Instead agricultural wealth, which earlier born sons were better endowed with, was a greater determinant of out-migration. The third question examined in this dissertation is how to properly control for lifecycle and period biases in intergenerational mobility estimation. A major problem in intergenerational mobility research is that varying macroeconomic contexts may present themselves in mobility estimates as lifecycle biases. This dissertation proposes a two-pronged approach to control for biased intergenerational mobility coefficients. The first approach is to estimate mobility within a cross-section and to control for lifecycle differences. The second approach estimates within age and controls for period biases. Comparable mobility estimates from both approaches confirm the significance of controlling for period and lifecycle biases.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Mobiliteitsberaming is ‘n manier om die waarnskynlikheid dat individue hulle sosioekonomiese status kan verbeter, te kwantifiseer. Navorsing aangaande mobiliteit het onlangs begin toeneem as gevolg van die toename in wêreldwye sosioekonomiese ongelykheid. Hoe minder mobiel ‘n gemeenskap is, hoe meer geneig is sosioekonomiese status om oor tyd of deur generasies oorgedra te word. Hoër vlakke van mobiliteit bepaal hoe inperkend ongelykheid vir individue of huishoudings is om moontlike armoede te ontsnap. Geskiedkundige ekonomiese navorsing oor Afrika is tradisioneel afgeskeep. Die gebrek aan navorsingsuitsette vir Afrika ekonomiese geskiedenis is hoofsaaklik die gevolg van die gebrek aan gehalte, gedetaileerde data waarmee kwessies soos welvaartbeweeglikheid, mobiliteit, ongelykheid en migrasie ondersoek kan word. Gehalte databronne wat onlangs beskikbaar geraak het, het tot ‘n toename in geskiedkundige Afrika navorsing gelei. Suid-Afrika, en die Kaapkolonie spesifiek, ervaar tans die meeste fokus. Die baie lang-termyn lengtesnit datastel, stel herdie verhandeling in staat om navorsingsvrae aan te pak wat tot dus ver onaangeraak was vir ‘n historiese, onderontwikkelde gemeenskap in ‘n pre-industriële konteks. Die verhandeling bied begrip vir geskiedkundige weelvaartsbeweeglikheid en gedrag wat verband hou met migrasie. Dit plaas ook die bestaande hoë vlakke van grond en welvaartsongelykheid wat tans in Suid-Afrika heers in konteks. Die eerste onderwerp wat hierdie verhandeling ondersoek is die mobiliteit van landbouwelvaart en hoe dit migrasie besluite vanuit twee disrikte van die Kaapkolonie beïnvloed. Die doelstelling is die vergelyking van hierdie twee uiteenlopende distrikte se vermoë om geleenthede vir sosio-ekonomiese verbetering te bied, en hoe ‘n gebrek aan sulke geleenthede setlaar migrasie-besluitneming beïnvloed het. Hierdie verhandeling beraam mobiliteit en, om die determinante van migrasie te bepaal, oorlewingsmodelle. Gevaarkoerse wat uit hierdie oorlewingsmodelle gegenereer word, word dan in die welvaartsmobiliteit modelle ingesluit om die verhouding tussen mobiliteit en migrasie te ondersoek. Huishoudings wat meer geneig was om te migreer was geneig om minder mobiel te wees in terme van hulle landbouwelvaart. As die tweede tema, ondersoek hierdie verhandeling migrasie verder, maar met ‘n psigologiese benadering. Geboortevolgorde en naam erfenis se invloede op migrasiebesluite word verken. In hierdie verhandeling word naam erfenis gebruik as ‘n plaasvervanger vir lojaliteit van seuns teenoor hulle ouers, in teenstelling met ‘n eersgeboortereg wat tot gevolg het dat seuns wat vroeër gebore is, meer geërf het. Die doel is om vas te stel watter een van hierdie twee gevolge dominant was. Sielkunde en ‘n lojaliteitseffek is onbeduidend in die migrasie besluite van setlaarseuns. Landbouwelvaart, waarin vroeër gebore seuns beter bedeeld was, was ‘n belangriker bepaler van migrasie. Die derde vraag wat in hierdie verhandeling beantwoord word, is hoe om effektief vir die effek van lewensiklus en tydperk verskille te beheer in intergenerasie-mobiliteitsberaming. ‘n Groot probleem is verskillende makro-ekonomiese omstandighede wat hulself as lewensiklus verskille openbaar in intergenerasie-welvaartsmobiliteitberaming. Hierdie verhandeling stel ‘n tweeledige benadering voor om vir sydige intergenerasie-mobiliteitskoëffisiënte te beheer. Die eerste benadering behels om mobiliteit binne die deursnit-jaar te beraam en om lewensiklus verskille te beheer. Die tweede benadering beraam intergenerasie-mobiliteit binne die ouderdomsnit en kontroleer vir tydperk vooroordele. Vergelykbare beramings vir beide benaderings bevestig die belangrikheid om vir periodiese en lewensiklus sydighede te beheer.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/107845
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