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Dear reader, 
In this edition of the newsletter of the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU), 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.
From the Director's desk
In 1993 SALDRU, along with the World Bank, ran South Africa’s first truly national living standards survey in order to provide baseline information for policy formulation by the first post-apartheid administration. These data were made available to researchers within a year of the survey being completed and they have been used intensively for policy analysis since 1994.  Initially though, much of this analysis was done by non-South Africans due to a lack of capacity within our country to use such data. This unacceptable situation spurred SALDRU to launch a training initiative in data analysis to build indigenous capacity for evidence-based policy work. Our two week January training course on the Analysis of Survey Data has run for 16 years now. Well over 1000 graduate students, junior faculty and policy researchers from all over the country have participated in this course. 

We remain committed to such capacity building. Along with a report on our research activities, this newsletter reflects a range of initiatives in which that we are involved currently along with DataFirst.
Murray Leibbrandt
Director, SALDRU
SALDRU training: Recent short courses
SALDRU has been expanding its training activities in recent years. In June and July, SALDRU worked with DataFirst, NIDS and the University of Ghana to deliver 5 short courses on various aspects of survey data analysis using Stata:
  • Understanding Complex Social Survey Data
    UCT  |  23 - 27 June
  • Measuring Economic Welfare
    UCT  |  30 June - 11 July
  • NIDS Panel Data Course
    UCT  |  7 - 11 July
  • Understanding Panel Survey Data
    UCT  |  14 - 18 July 
  • Statistical Analysis of Census and Survey Data using Stata
    University of Ghana, Accra  |  21 July - 1 August
The courses were well attended, with participants coming from a wide range of backgrounds including Stats SA, Treasury, local and Ghanaian government departments and a number of South African and Ghanaian universities. Going forward, the UCT-based courses are going to be offered annually. If you are interested in attending one of these courses in the future, more information is available here. You can also contact Clare Hofmeyr if you would like to be notified when applications open. 
Applications open:
17th Annual Summer Training Programme in Social Science Research using Survey Data
Applications are open for SALDRU's annual Summer Training Programme in Social Science Research using Survey Data. The course will run from 5 - 16 January 2015, and is free of charge for all participants.
The course is designed for university students or graduates seeking further training in statistics and survey analysis using Stata. It is targeted at those who are entering a post-graduate programme in the social sciences, or those employed in a government or private sector position which requires frequent interaction with social statistics. 

More information on the course is available here. To apply, please fill out the online application form.
Closing date: 12 October 2014
Are the tobacco industry's claims about the size of the illicit cigarette market credible? The case of South Africa
Corne van Walbeek and Lerato Shai; Tobacco Control

Assessing the effectiveness of academic development programmes: A statistical analysis of graduation rates across three programmes
Leonard Smith, Jenni Case and Corne van Walbeek; South African Journal of Higher Education

HIV-Related discrimination among Grade 6 students in nne Southern African countries
Brendan Maughan-Brown and Nic Spaull; PLOS ONE

Male circumcision and sexual risk behaviours may contribute to considerable ethnic disparities in HIV prevalence in Kenya: An ecological analysis
Chris Richard Kenyon, Lung Vu, Joris Menten and Brendan Maughan-Brown; PLOS ONE

Partner age differences and concurrency in South Africa: Implications for HIV-infection risk
among young women

Brendan Maughan-Brown, Chris Kenyon and Mark Lurie; Aids and Behaviour

The economic consequences of AIDS mortality in South Africa
Cally Ardington, Till Barnighausen, Anne Case and Alicia Menendez; Journal of Development Economics

The transmission of longevity across generations: The case of the settler Cape Colony
Patrizio Piraino, Sean Muller, Jeanne Cilliers and Johan Fourie; Research in Social Stratification and Mobility

What do people actually learn from public health campaigns? Incorrect inferences about male circumcision and female HIV infection risk among men and women in Malawi
Brendan Maughan-Brown, Susan Godlonton, Rebecca Thornton and Atheendar Venkataramani; Aids and Behaviour

Working toward better pay: Earning dynamics in Ghana and Tanzania
Paolo Falso, Andrew Kerr, Pierella Paci and Bob Rijkers; World Bank
Working papers
Union selection effects – Some inconsistent models
Martin Wittenberg

gpsbound: Routine for importing and verifying geographical information from a user provided shapefile
Tim Brophy, Reza Daniels and Sibongile Musundwa

Intergenerational earnings mobility and equality of opportunity in South Africa
Patrizio Piraino

For a full list of all SALDRU working papers, please see here.
Policy and research briefs
How the old age pension is helping young people from rural areas find jobs
Cally Ardington and Clare Hofmeyr  |  Econ3x3 Brief

More financial aid is not the best way to close the racial gap in tertiary education
David Lam, Cally Ardington, Nicola Branson and Murray Leibbrandt  |  Econ3x3 Brief

A number of slightly older SALDRU Research Briefs have recently been made available on openSALDRU:

Moving out and moving in: Evidence of short-term household change in South Africa from the National Income Dynamics Study
Lloyd Grieger, April Williamson, Murray Leibbrandt and James Levinsohn 

The middle class and inequality in South Africa
Arden Finn, Murray Leibbrandt and Ingrid Woolard

What happened to multidimensional poverty in South Africa between 1993 and 2010?
Arden Finn, Murray Leibbrandt and Ingrid Woolard

Youth unemployment and social protection
Cally Ardington, Anne Case, Alicia Menendez, Till Bärnighausen, David Lam and Murray Leibbrandt

For a full list of all SALDRU briefs, please see here.

Vimal Ranchhod receives NRF Research Career Award Fellowship

We would like to congratulate Vimal Ranchhod, Chief Research Officer in SALDRU, for receiving an NRF Research Career Award Fellowship (RCAF). The RCAF provides funding for 5-year research projects with the aim to create the opportunity for promising researchers to strengthen their research track record in their chosen research area and to establish themselves as research leaders. Vimal’s project will explore the underlying mechanisms that cause the persistence of extremely high levels of economic inequality in contemporary South Africa. 

SALDRU researcher, Arden Finn, at the University of Michigan for a year

Arden Finn has been awarded the Miller-Sidgwick International Exchange Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded annually and gives one PhD student from any faculty at UCT the opportunity to enrol in an academic year of coursework at the University of Michigan. We wish Arden all the best in his studies.

Ariane de Lannoy joins the Poverty & Inequality Initiative

In July, Dr. A de Lannoy joined the PII which is housed within SALDRU. Ariane comes to us from The Children's Institute, and will be working on the Youth Initiative of the PII. This initiative is a response to the need for evidence-based interventions aimed at finding ways to empower youth to create meaningful lives for themselves, and to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty.

New SALDRU affiliate: Atheendar Venkaratamani

Atheendar Venkaratamani is a resident physician and health economist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He has co-authored numerous SALDRU working papers and journal articles with Brendan Maughan-Brown, Senior Research Officer in SALDRU. Welcome Atheendar!


In the media

A radical tax-based solution to SA’s income inequality
21 May 2014  |  Moneyweb

South Africa is one of the most unequal societies in the world, and this has only worsened in the post-apartheid years. For example, a study by UCT associates and researchers compared income inequality in South Africa in 1993, immediately prior to the first democratic election, and 2008, just before the impact of the great recession hit SA, and found that inequality increased during that period. Read more...

While emerging economies boom, equality goes bust
28 May 2014 | Sciencemag

A wave of longitudinal studies tracking income and other metrics has helped to flesh out the picture of economic growth and inequality in developing countries like Indonesia, South Africa, India and China. The studies reveal growing inequality, which itself may stymie further growth because poor people without access to good education cannot contribute to economies to their full potential. Read more...

Remedy to miners’ poverty lies in ending migrant labour
10 June 2014  |  BDLive

The recent decision by President Jacob Zuma to reduce the scope of the Marikana Commission of Inquiry, chaired by Judge Ian Farlam, so that it may no longer consider the deeper, underlying causes of the tragic events at Marikana in August 2012, is a mistake that will return to haunt us unless it can somehow be reversed. Read more...

When bad people do good surveys
3 July 2014 | World Bank Development Impact Blog

If you would rather not think about where our data comes from and what might be wrong with it, you shouldn't read this post. But if you do, an interesting new paper by
Arden Finn and Vimal Ranchhod gives us a lot to think about. Read more...

Why Mark Schussler is wrong about inequality
22 July 2014  |  Ground Up

Mike Schussler’s recently published article distorts the available statistical evidence to buttress a bizarre argument with three prongs: 1) inequality in South Africa is overstated, 2) our inequality is largely a result of unemployment as opposed to the wage gap among those working, and 3) the cause of high unemployment is militant labour organisations. However, leading studies in South Africa are unequivocal: inequality is extremely high and increasing, and wage inequality is a key culprit. Read more...

Do a third of SA women have a baby by 19?
8 August 2014  |  The Daily Maverick and Africa Check

A health department spokesman has claimed that a third of South African women are mothers by 19, but the claim is based on data from 1998. Does it still hold true? A 2013 study by researchers at SALDRU uses data from six South African national household surveys, and finds that in 2008 only a quarter of South African women had entered their twenties as a mother. Read more...



SALDRU seminars take place on Wednesdays at 13.00 in the 4th floor SAB Seminar Room in the Economics Building, UCT. Please contact Clare Hofmeyr with queries or to be added to the mailing list. 

Recent presentations included:

Admissions and performance: The case of UCT
Leigh Neethling

Consumer price rigidities in Lesotho: The role of outlet characteristics and competition
Mamello Nchake

Estimating the short run effects of South Africa's Employment Tax Incentive on youth employment probabilities using a difference-in-differences approach
Vimal Ranchhod and Arden Finn

Have workers been winners or losers in the post-apartheid labour market?    
Jeremy Seekings

Informal sector employment creation: What can the Survey of Employers and the Self-employed tell us about informal enterprises in South Africa?    
Frederick Fourie and Andrew Kerr

Measuring inequality using asset indices: The case of South Africa
Martin Wittenberg

Skills mismatch and informal sector participation among educated immigrants: Evidence from South Africa
Asha Sundaram

Social drift reconsidered: Longitudinal analysis of depression and poverty in South Africa
Crick Lund

Social justice, law and development: A focus on two Centre for Law and Society projects
Marlese van Broembsen
Copyright © 2014 SALDRU, UCT, All rights reserved.

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