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JUNE 2012

Dear reader,

In this edition of the newsletter of the Southern African Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU), you will find recent news on our Working Papers, Recent Events, and Seminars. If you would prefer not to receive these newsletters in the future, you can unsubscribe here.

From the Director’s Desk
We are delighted to flag the release of the latest round of the National Income Dynamics Study data in this newsletter. There is a lot going on within SALDRU with regard to the analysis of NIDS. Recently SALDRU was awarded a Grand Challenges grant by the National Research Foundation to build national capacity and undertake research on South Africa’s unfolding social dynamics using panel data sets such as NIDS. Our 2012 January training program trained 130 South African researchers in basic analysis using NIDS data. Amongst other items, this newsletter references an upcoming training course in the use of panel data, the upcoming Carnegie 3 conference, a major award from the European Union to SALDRU and 18 other research groups from around the world to undertake a five year international research program that is ambitiously titled NOPOOR. All of these activities show clearly SALDRU's participation in and ongoing focus on activities to assist with poverty alleviation in our country and our continent.

Murray Leibbrandt
Director of SALDRU

Top story: Public release of the Second wave of NIDS, South Africa’s first nationally representative longitudinal household survey

The National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS), funded by the Presidency of South Africa and implemented by SALDRU, released its second wave in May 2012. More than 120 fieldworkers travelled all over South Africa to survey 28000+ continuing sample members between February 2010 and August 2011, using Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) for optimal data quality control.

Both SALDRU and the NIDS team are very proud to place Wave 2 data into the public domain to enable more in-depth, policy-relevant, research. NIDS is a unique source of information to investigate topics critical to the study of the dynamics of poverty and inequality, such as schooling to work transitions, income mobility, labour market dynamics, health outcomes. For the first time, Wave 2 includes a wealth module with questions about household and individual net worth.

The data and metadata can be accessed from the DataFirst website. Also available is the latest version (4.1) of NIDS Wave 1. The data, and documented updates, can be accessed here.

Visit for any further updates related to the data and upcoming training initiatives.

The NIDS Team


Working Papers

Wealth in the National Income Dynamics Study Wave 2
Reza C. Daniels, Arden Finn and Sibongile Musundwa

Income Mobility in South Africa: Evidence from the First Two Waves of the National Income Dynamics Study
Arden Finn, Murray Leibbrandt and James Levinsohn

Education: Analysis of the NIDS Wave 1 and 2 Datasets
Nicola Branson, David Lam and Linda Zuze

Health: Analysis of the NIDS Wave 1 and 2 Datasets
Cally Ardington and Boingotlo Gasealahwe

Self-assessed well-being: Analysis of the NIDS Wave 1 and 2 Datasets
Dorrit Posel

Labour Market: Analysis of the NIDS Wave 1 and 2 Datasets
Paul Cichello, Murray Leibbrandt and Ingrid Woolard
Contribution Norms in Heterogeneous Groups: A Climate Change Framing
Zoe Van der Hoven, Martine Visser and Kerri Brick

Electoral Rules and Clientelistic Parties: A Regression Discontinuity Approach
Miquel Pellicer and Eva Wegner

Education and Inequality: The South African Case
Nicola Branson, Julia Garlick, David Lam and Murray Leibbrandt

Government spending, corruption and economic growth
G. d’Agostino, J.P Dunne, and L. Pieroni

Educational Inheritance and the Distribution of Occupations: Evidence from South Africa
Malcolm Keswell, Sarah Girdwood and Murray Leibbrandt

Ethnolinguistic Diversity and the Provision of Public Goods: Experimental Evidence from South Africa
Justine Burns and Malcolm Keswell

Inheriting the Future: Intergenerational Persistence of Educational status in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Justine Burns and Malcolm Keswell


SALDRU is an active member of NOPOOR, a five-year project funded by the European Commission that was launched in April 2012. A consortium of 19 research institutions on all continents has put together an ambitious research program with the objective of “Enhancing Knowledge for Renewed Policies against Poverty”, and in particular informing the EU policy for poverty reduction post-MDG. The work is organized by themes such as measuring poverty, social networks, and political systems, which will allow partnerships and comparative studies across continents. SALDRU will be conducting several studies on discrimination, redistribution, and will be coordinating the work around education and social protection across the consortium.

As part of the SALDRU / DataFirst Data Quality Project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, a Secure Data Centre will be established at the University of Cape Town. Detailed national data will be made available to academics in this centre to enable cutting-edge research at the university. The centre will be set up before the end of 2012.

We will finally be able to digitise and make available all our early poverty research outputs, which includes the old SALDRU Working papers and the papers of the 1984 Carnegie conference on poverty, thanks to a grant from the Digital Repository Group (Humanitec) at UCT. We believe these documents are both of academic interest and historical relevance and are excited to put them in the public domain.

What's on

Strategies to overcome poverty and inequality: Towards Carnegie III
Francis Wilson has been tasked by UCT's vice-chancellor Dr Max Price to set up a major national conference in September. For more information about the conference visit

NIDS Panel Data Course
2-6 July 2012

This five day training course is designed for people who are interested in using the NIDS panel data but have not yet done so. Participants must have some prior experience of using STATA to analyse cross-sectional household survey data, but need not have previously worked with panel data. Find out more.

Popular Writing

Revisiting the ‘crisis’ in teen births: What is the impact of teen births on young mothers and their children?
A SALDRU policy brief - This brief has been updated!

Human Capital Consequences of Teenage Childbearing in South Africa
Population Reference Bureau

Recent Events

Conference in Ghana to Promote Evidence-Based Education Policy in Africa

J-PAL Africa (at SALDRU) along with Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) Ghana Education Service (GES), brought together researchers and policymakers for a conference on "Evidence-Based Education: Policy Making and Reform in Africa." More than 150 participants from 22 countries, working in government ministries, development organizations, and NGOs gathered for two days of presentations summarizing rigorous evidence from randomized evaluations of education programs. The conference concluded with discussions on directions for future research and a panel on how best to scale up successful interventions. Read the Government of Ghana's report on the conference.

Workshop on the Weights in the NIDs Dataset
Many users of the NIDS datasets have been perplexed by the different weights that have been released with the data. This may get worse with the release of the second wave, because there are now panel weights and wave 2 cross-sectional weights to add in to the mix. A joint SALDRU/DataFirst workshop was held in May to help users through the different weights, explain what they are as well as give some advice as to how to use them.

Seminar Series
The SALDRU seminars recently featured presentations by Susan Godlonton (Michigan University), Shifa Mhbua (UCT), Rebecca Thornton (University of Michigan and JPAL), Jeff Bookwalter (University of Montana), David de la Croix (Universite Catholique de Louvain), Sean Muller (UCT), George Mutasa (UCT), Sakiko Fukuda-Parr (The New School), Nicola Branson (SALDRU, UCT), Cally Ardington (SALDRU, UCT), Ingrid Woolard (NIDS, UCT), Brendan Maughan-Brown (SALDRU, UCT) and Andrew Kerr,(DataFirst, UCT).
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