NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Incomes in South Africa Since the Fall of Apartheid

Murray Leibbrandt, James Levinsohn, Justin McCrary

NBER Working Paper No. 11384
Issued in May 2005
NBER Program(s):   ITI   LS

This paper examines changes in individual real incomes in South Africa between 1995 and 2000. We document substantial declines--on the order of 40%--in real incomes for both men and women. The brunt of the income decline appears to have been shouldered by the young and the non-white. We argue that changes in respondent attributes are insufficient to explain this decline. For most groups, a (conservative) correction for selection into income recipiency explains some, but not all, of the income decline. For other groups, selection is a potential explanation for the income decline. Perhaps the most persuasive explanation of the evidence is substantial economic restructuring of the South African economy in which wages are not bid up to keep pace with price changes due to a differentially slack labor market.

download in pdf format
   (1700 K)

email paper

A non-technical summary of this paper is available in the January 2006 NBER digest.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Digest by email.

This paper is available as PDF (1700 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Leibbrandt and Levinsohn w16661 Fifteen Years On: Household Incomes in South Africa
Banerjee, Galiani, Levinsohn, McLaren, and Woolard w13167 Why Has Unemployment Risen in the New South Africa
Edwards and Lawrence w12760 South African Trade Policy Matters: Trade Performance and Trade Policy
Rodrik w12565 Understanding South Africa's Economic Puzzles
Inman and Rubinfeld w17799 Understanding the Democratic Transition in South Africa
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us