In this edition of the newsletter of the Southern African Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU), you will find news on our working papers, highlighted journal articles, briefing papers, recent courses, and seminars. If you would prefer not to receive these newsletters in the future, you can unsubscribe here.
From the Director's desk
Things are picking up again in 2013 after a very busy
research year. The seriousness and strength of the
research team working within SALDRU is evidenced by
NRF ratings, keynote addresses and constructive
research collaborations with top groups at UCT,
nationally and internationally. It is a privilege to work in
a team that has a contribution to make through its
research and capacity building initiatives and is fully
committed to making this contribution. We look
forward to our work in 2013.
Director of SALDRU
Top story: Launch of the South African Child Gauge 2012
"Children and Inequality: Closing the Gap" is the theme of this year's Child Gauge. The 7th issue of this popular annual review by the Children's Institute was released on the 17th October 2012. The 2012 edition was produced in collaboration with UNICEF and SALDRU. In particular, SALDRU associate Ingrid Woolard was one of the editors of the report and contributed to two sections in the gauge looking at inequality and access to social grants as they relate to children. SALDRU researchers, Nicola Branson and Tia Zuze, were responsible for the chapter on education.
The themed essays in the report outline the extent and impact of income inequality on children's living conditions, care arrangements, health and education, and identify interventions that could break the cycle of poverty and reduce inequality. You can download the full report or sections thereof here.
7th IZA/World Bank Conference: Employment and Development
Ingrid Woolard gave the keynote address at the IZA-World Bank 7th Employment and Development Conference in New Delhi on the 6th of November, 2012. She gave a South African perspective on the challenges of youth unemployment, pointing out that while there are gains to be made from labour market interventions such as the promotion of entrepreneurship and addressing the mismatch in skills, it is macroeconomic and growth policies which are fundamental in solving this problem.
Ingrid was made an IZA Research Fellow at the beginning of this year. She joins Murray Leibbrandt as the two South Africans who currently serve as Fellows.
How can the urban poor be serviced better?
This question was centre-stage when J-PAL Africa hosted a three day workshop in January for practitioners and researchers to discuss innovative ways of improving access to water, sanitation and hygiene in low-income urban areas in Africa. Following the workshop, a series of impact evaluations will be run by J-PAL and local researchers to test what works and inform future policies for urban service provision (more information here). J-PAL is a research programme within SALDRU that promotes scientific impact evaluations, works with policymakers to integrate emerging evidence into policy decisions, and builds capacity for local researchers.
Highlighted working papers
The Economic Consequences of Death in South Africa
Cally Ardington, Till Barnighausen, Anne Case and Alicia Menendez
A Framework for Investigating Micro Data Quality, with Application to South African Labour Market Household Surveys
Reza C. Daniels
Questionnaire Design and Response Propensities for Employee Income Micro Data
Reza C. Daniels
Univariate Multiple Imputation for Coarse Employee Income Data
Reza C. Daniels
Chinese Competition and the Restructuring of South African Manufacturing
Highlighted journal articles
Learning that circumcision is protective against HIV: Risk compensation among men and women in Cape Town, South Africa
Brendan Maughan-Brown & Atheendar S. Venkataramani
Poverty, sexual behaviour, gender and HIV infection among young black men and women in Cape Town, South Africa
Nicoli Nattrass, Brendan Maughan-Brown, Jeremy Seekings & Alan Whiteside
Social and cultural contexts of concurrency in a township in Cape Town, South Africa
Timothy L. Mah & Brendan Maughan-Brown
Variation in concurrent sexual partnerships and sexually transmitted diseases among African men in Cape Town, South Africa.
Inheriting the future: Intergenerational persistence of educational status in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Justine Burns & Malcolm Keswell
Evaluating the impact of health programs on productivity.
(African Development Review, forthcoming)
Malcolm Keswell, Justine Burns & Rebecca Thornton
Other briefing papers
Lawrence Edward & Rhys Jenkins, DEV Research Briefing 4, Aug 2012
Research funding for work on "Fertility timing and women's economic outcomes in South Africa"
In early 2012, major research funding organisations from the Netherlands, Norway, UK and US launched an international research competition for work on "Population, Reproductive Health and Economic Development". A team from SALDRU along with members of the Populations Studies Centre at the University of Michigan participated, proposing to work on "Fertility timing and women's economic outcomes in South Africa" as a continuation of the work in SALDRU's first policy brief. SALDRU's proposal has been chosen as one of eight to be funded over the next two years. Professor Diane Cooper of the School of Public Health and Family Medicine will be working with us on this project.
Launch of Econ3x3 Forum
In November 2012 the Econ3x3 Forum was launched. The forum is a prong of the project on Employment, Income Distribution and Inclusive Growth and is designed to promote an engagement within and between the research and policy communities that work on these three issues. Visit the Econ3x3 website to see an exciting set of initial offerings from a number of eminent policy thinkers and researchers.
SALDRU associates Lawrence Edwards and Clara Delavallade were recently promoted to Professor and Associate Professor respectively.
NRF Researcher Ratings
The SALDRU team now includes two B1, two Y1 and one C1 rated researchers.
January was training month in SALDRU and a number of courses took place:
Summer Training Programme in Social Science Research using Survey Data
7 - 18 January 2013
This was the 15th Summer Training Course. A group of over 70 participants represented a diverse mix of South Africans and international academics, students and government employees.
J-PAL Africa Executive Education
14 - 18 January 2013
J-PAL Africaran their third annual Executive Education course on evaluating social programmes through the use of randomised control trials.
NIDS Panel Data Course
21 - 25 January 2013
The 5-day NIDS Panel Data took place for the second time, including participants from local government as well as local and international research institutes.
The enduring fallacies that plague official skills policies
The role of private sector employees needs far greater recognition in government's thinking, advises SALDRU Honorary Research Associate Sean Archer. Read the full article in the Mail & Guardian.
SA's Child Gauge 2012: Suffer the Little Children
Almost 40% of South Africa's population is younger than 18 years old, and most South African children are poor. That's what the 7th annual Child Gauge report boils down to: the data that tell us what life is like for SA kids. It's bleak stuff: children are more likely than adults to be living in poor households, and inequality is rising. Read the full Daily Maverick article here.
The SALDRU seminar series recently featured the following presentations:
Resource Rents and resource management: the impacts of policy in Namibia's post-independence hake fishery
What is wrong with Capitalism and what can we do about it?
Shadows of the Captain of the Men of Death: Early Life Health Interventions, Human Capital Investments, and Institutions
Cooperating over losses and competing over gains
Job Creation and Destruction in South Africa
A Nation in Search of Jobs: Six Possible Policy Suggestions For Employment Creation in South Africa
Fake it so you make it: The prevalence and
implications of fieldworker fraud in large South African surveys
Arden Finn & Vimal Ranchhod
The economic valuation of dryland ecosystem services in the South African Kgalagadi area and implications for PES involving the Khomani San
aspects associated with the 2011 SA Census
Prof Dorrington & A/Prof Moultrie
HIV Testing in the Workplace
Yuya Kudo & Seiro Ito