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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Exploring the distribution of household income in South Africa
Authors:MacDonald, S.
Piesse, Jenifer
Van Zyl, J.
Periodical:South African Journal of Economics
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:income distribution
External link:https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1813-6982.2000.tb01177.x/pdf
Abstract:In 1994 the ANC inherited one of the most unequal societies in the world. While in per capita terms South Africa is an upper-middle income country, most of the population experience outright poverty. Periodic income and expenditure surveys during the 1980s and 1990s and annual household surveys since the early 1990s provide a wealth of information about the extent of inequality. The objective of this paper is to quantify the present levels of inequality, identify those groups that are most vulnerable, and develop methods by which policies designed to reduce inequalities can be monitored. It concerns the impact of different sources of income upon measured income inequalities and analyses levels of inequality by distinguishing between households on the basis not only of sources of income, but also by race and geographic location. The results of the study largely conform to expectations. The most obvious feature of the dispersion of incomes is the extent to which average incomes for white households exceed those of other racial groups. There are also major inequalities within racial groups, provinces and residential locations, not just between racial groups. In particular, the mean incomes of urban households are in the majority of cases twice as high as those in rural areas. The unequal distribution of white incomes is also very pronounced. App., bibliogr., notes.