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JULY 2015

Dear reader, 
In this edition of the newsletter of the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, you will find news on SALDRU's latest working papers and journal articles, as well as recent and upcoming training activities, and the seminar series. If you would prefer not to receive these newsletters in the future, you can unsubscribe here.
New Postgraduate Diploma in Survey Data Analysis for Development
From 2016, DataFirst, SALDRU and the UCT School of Economics will be offering a series of short courses, together with a research project, as the new Post Graduate Diploma in Survey Data Analysis for Development. This is a year long course fully accredited by UCT. A full list of the courses is below. Please note that you can attend one or more courses without having to register for the full diploma.

Cross Sectional Econometric Methods
Panel Data Methods
Complex Survey Methods
Social Welfare Measurement
Applied Labour Economics
Consumption and Microeconomic Theory
Research Project Workshop

For more information, please contact Alison Siljeur
Katherine Eyal and Nic Baigrie win JJI Middleton Medal
Katherine EyalKatherine Eyal, a lecturer in the School of Economics and Research Associate of SALDRU, and Nic Baigrie, an Economics Honours student in 2014, have been awarded the JJI Middleton Medal for the best South African Journal of Economics article in 2014. The article is based on Nic's Honours long paper, for which Katherine was the supervisor, and is titled "An Evaluation of the Determinants and Implications of Panel Attrition in the National Income Dynamics Survey (2008-2010)". SALDRU congratulates both of them on their achievement.
SALDRU & DataFirst short courses in November
In conjunction with DataFirst, SALDRU is offering 3 short courses in November:
For queries and applications, please contact Alison Siljeur
Professor Hana Ross joins the Tobacco Control Research Project
Hana RossProf. Hana Ross has been appointed as a Principal Research Officer in the Tobacco Control Research Project. Ross has over 17 years’ experience in conducting research on the economics of tobacco control and in management of research projects in low and middle income countries, including projects funded by the World Bank, WHO, the Rockefeller Foundation and the European Commission, among others. Hana has published more than 60 articles and independent reports on issues related tobacco use and control, as well as co-authoring the 3rd and 4th editions of Tobacco Atlas. Her current research projects focus on the economic impact of tobacco control interventions in Africa, South East Asia, and the EU. She is also interested in the economics of drug abuse and in the economic impact of risk factors associated with non-communicable diseases such as obesity, lack of physical activity, and alcohol consumption.
SALDRU Graduate Associate awarded Volkswagen Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship
Grieve ChelwaGrieve Chelwa, a PhD student in the School of Economics and a SALDRU Graduate Associate, has been awarded a 3 year Volkswagen Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship. Grieve will be working closely with SALDRU affiliate Dr. Miquel Pellicer on the economics of education in Zambia. Grieve is currently winding up his PhD studies under the supervision of Prof. Corne van Walbeek, who is a SALDRU Associate and Principal Investigator of The Economics of Tobacco Control Project, also housed within SALDRU. 
Why is South Africa still so unequal?
Murray Leibbrandt recently contributed to a BBC report on the very high levels of inequality in South Africa: 

The violent riots on the streets of South Africa in recent weeks have seen foreigners killed, their shops looted and 5,000 left homeless. They are accused of taking jobs from locals in a country where high unemployment is a big concern - and an example of the gaping chasm that remains between rich and poor. So 21 years after Nelson Mandela pledged to liberate all South Africans from the continuing bondage of poverty and deprivation, why is South Africa one of the most unequal societies on the planet. Listen to the podcast here...
Highlighted publications
The determinants of earnings inequalities: Panel data evidence from KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Andrew Kerr and Francis Teal  |  Journal of African Economies

gpsbound: A command for importing and verifying geographical information from a user- provided shapefile
Timothy Brophy, Reza Che Daniels and Sibongile Musundwa | The Stata Journal

Sampling methodology and fieldwork changes in the October household Surveys and Labour Force Surveys
Andrew Kerr and Martin Wittenberg  |  Development Southern Africa
Working papers
Managing risk with insurance and savings: Experimental evidence for male and female farm managers in the Sahel
Clara Delavallade, Felipe Dizon, Ruth Hill and Jean Paul Petraud  |  SALDRU Working Paper # 142

Quality healthcare and health insurance retention: Evidence from a randomised experiment in the Kolkata Slums
Clara Delavallade  |  SALDRU Working Paper # 143

The effect of non-personnel resources on educational outcomes: Evidence from South Africa
Miquel Pellicer and Patrizio Piraino  |  SALDRU Working Paper # 144

Increasing access to HIV testing: Impacts on equity of coverage and uptake form a national campaign in South Africa
Brendan Maughan-Brown, Neil Lloyd, Jacob Bor and Atheendar Venkataramani  |  SALDRU Working Paper # 145
Martin Wittenberg  |  SALDRU Working Paper # 148

Schooling inequality, returns to schooling, and earnings inequality
David Lam, Arden Finn and Murray Leibbrandt  |  UNU-WIDER Working Paper 2015/050

South Africa country report
Lawrence Edwards, Wayde Flowerday, Neil Rankin, Gareth Roberts and Volker Schöer  |  R4D Working Paper 2015/4
Highlighted recent seminars
SALDRU seminars take place on Wednesdays at 13.00 in the 4th floor SAB Seminar Room in the Economics Building, UCT. Lunch is served beforehand, at 12.30 in the adjacent Staff Lounge. Please contact Clare Hofmeyr with queries or to be added to the mailing list. Recent presentations included:
  • Taxation, redistribution and the social contract in Brazil  |  Armando Barrientos
  • Estimating income mobility when income is measured with error: The case of South Africa  |  Rulof Burger 
  • The Power of Tests for Pareto Efficiency Within the Family  |  Jesse Naidoo
  • Location, search costs and youth unemployment: A randomized trial of transport subsidies in Ethiopia  |  Simon Franklin
  • Discrimination and Affirmative Action: Challenges related to Transformation at UCT  |  Vimal Ranchhod
  • Minimum wage-setting by the Employment Conditions Commission  |  Jeremy Seekings
  • Family Planning and Fertility in South Africa under Apartheid  |  Johannes Norling


Ingrid Woolard joins the International Panel on Social Progress
The International Panel on Social Progress is made up of about 200 authors and will produce a report over the next three years, following an inclusive process modelled on the one used by the International Panel on Climate Change. The IPSP Report will ‘gather the state-of-the-art knowledge about the desirability and possibility of all relevant forms of structural social change. It will synthesize knowledge on the principles, possibilities, and methods for improving the main institutions of modern societies’.

SALDRU Affiliate, Atheendar Venkataramani, moving up in the world

SALDRU would like to congratulate one of our affiliates, Atheendar Venkataramani, on his new appointment. He will be an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. He will also have a Faculty appointment at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. 

Fighting Poverty: Labour markets and inequality in South Africa

It was a time of high hopes and expectations as the ANC took the reins in a peaceful transition of power. The challenges for the new government were immense. The ANC was now tasked with breaking down the barriers of access to the wealth and employment opportunities previously reserved for whites only. But, just as a doctor cannot prescribe medication for a patient unless she knows exactly what ails him, so too can government not draw up successful policy without deeper insight into the causes of the problems. lt was at this juncture where the data-driven research undertaken by Professor Murray Leibbrandt and Professor Haroon Bhorat filled a critical vacuum for policy-making. Read more...

SALDRU Affiliate, David Lam, to direct University of Michigan Institute for Social Research

David Lam, SALDRU Affiliate and Honorary Professor in the School of Economics, was appointed by the Regents of the University of Michigan to be the 8th director of the Institute. David has the academic, administrative and personal qualities as well as the knowledge of ISR and its unique culture necessary to help ISR do what it does best – reimagine social science in the public interest. Read more...


In the media

Inequality in South Africa: A post-apartheid analysis
7 July 2015  |  World Policy Blog

Twenty years after South Africa’s transition to democracy, inequality continues to be a major concern in the country, with stark contrasts between the haves and have nots. Troublingly, despite policy reforms aimed at reducing inequality, South Africa still has a two-tiered economy, and lacks the "stepladder" positions that allow for the growth of the middle class. Read more...


Daily Maverick Op-Ed: Our new lost generation
23 June 2015  |  Murray Leibbrandt and Pippa Green

In South Africa, the intense struggle that followed the youthful uprising of 1976 aimed to create a South African Dream – a new country with new prospects for the generations ahead. Today, 21 years after the end of Apartheid, as the youth of the 1976 uprising slide into middle age, how real is that dream for the post-Apartheid youth?  Read more...

South Africa needs a revolution of usefulness
12 June 2015  |  Moneyweb

On Tuesday, author and former founding editor of Vrye Weekblad Max du Preez, wrote an article sharing his ideas on what’s wrong with the country, and what he thought should be done to fix it. Du Preez says: “Unemployment is the biggest problem facing South Africa,” and states that entrepreneurialism is the “closest we’ll ever get to a silver bullet for all our ills”. The flaw here, is that he hasn’t taken the inherent structural inequality in South Africa into account. This hamstrings his ability to both discern what the country’s key issues are, and to fashion a useful response to these ills. Read more...

The Conversation: Apartheid continues to cast shadow on equality of opportunity
9 June 2015  |  Patrizio Piraino

Countries with a more unequal distribution of income tend to have less economic mobility from one generation to the next. This relationship is often referred to as the “Great Gatsby Curve”. Generational mobility refers to the extent to which individuals have the opportunity to succeed economically regardless of the background of their parents. There is growing global evidence on the nature of this relationship as well as on unequal access to opportunities in general. This has helped shine more light on the continued persistence of inequality. Read more...

The Conversation: The missing middle of South Africa’s economic ladder threatens stability
28 May 2015  |  Alan Hirsch and Brian Levy

Missing middle of ladder threatens stabilityUnless South Africa’s persistent inequality is addressed, the country risks sliding into an accelerating downward spiral of rent seeking, cronyism and corruption. Whether a downward spiral accelerates – or, alternatively whether a new burst of inclusive economic growth and political competition can unleash a revitalised virtuous circle – will depend on both the choices of political elites and the levels and quality of civic engagement. Read more...

Africa Check: Zuma wrong on household electricity – about 50% of homes had access in 1994
15 May 2015  |  Daily Maverick

President Jacob Zuma claims that 34% of households had access to electricity in 1994. However, in late 1993 and early 1994 the Southern Africa Labour Development Research Unit undertook a national survey to determine the conditions under which South Africans were living, and it was found that 53.6% of households had access to electricity. Read more...

Opinion: Has Zuma's government done "a good job"?
23 March 2015  |  Africa Check

President Jacob Zuma’s government has done “a good job of stabilising the economy and investing in infrastructure to propel the economy into the next phase of growth, while investing in improving the quality of life of the most vulnerable”. This is one of the central claims made by Jeff Radebe – Minister in the Presidency responsible for planning, monitoring and evaluation – in an article defending the president’s performance. Radebe listed a number of achievements he attributed to Zuma and the government. Are his statements based on reality? Africa Check assessed them. Read more...

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