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Income InequalityEconomic Disparities and the Middle Class in Affluent Countries$
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Janet C. Gornick and Markus Jantti

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804778244

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804778244.001.0001

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Post-Apartheid Changes in South African Inequality

Post-Apartheid Changes in South African Inequality

(p.459) Chapter Seventeen Post-Apartheid Changes in South African Inequality
Income Inequality

Murray Leibbrandt

Arden Finn

Ingrid Woolard

Stanford University Press

This chapter investigates changes in inequality in South Africa between 1993 and 2008. It finds that aggregate inequality as well as intra-race group inequality increased over this period. This has primarily been driven by the functioning of the labor market: in addition to increased wage inequality, there has been an increase in the proportion of households with no connection to the labor market. Unemployment has risen and remittances have declined dramatically, resulting in more than one-quarter of households receiving no labor market income. The large-scale expansion of social grants programs has reduced poverty, but has had little impact on inequality. These social assistance programs reached almost half of all households in 2008, and thus extended well into the middle of the income distribution.

Keywords:   South Africa, income inequality, Gini decomposition, racial inequality, Luxembourg Income Study

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