Several papers have recently been published by RESEP members in the areas of Education and Labour.

 

Measuring school leadership and management and linkages with literacy: Evidence from rural and township primary schools in South Africa

Gabrielle Wills and Servaas van der Berg explore the development and trial of new metrics to quantify school leadership and management practices and/or processes considered to be theoretically related to literacy outcomes.  The study makes significant contributes to the literature on educational management and leadership in Africa, and the challenges of measurement in this context.

 

Separating Employment Effects into Job Destruction and Job Creation

This working paper by Marlies Piek, Dieter von Fintel and Johann Kirsten presents new evidence on the employment effects of a large increase in agricultural minimum wages in South Africa, using anonymized tax data.  The researchers differentiate between employment effects that result from the destruction of existing jobs and those that result from the slower creation of new jobs. Findings reveal that, following the minimum wage increase, employment decreased by approximately 14 percentage points, a third of which can be ascribed to job destruction, while the remainder to slower job creation.

 

Sectoral Minimum Wages in South Africa: Disemployment by Firm Size and Trade Exposure

In this paper, Marlies Piek and Dieter von Fintel measure the effects of minimum wages on small and large firm employment in South Africa. Comparisons between a sector that is exposed to international competition (agriculture) and one that is not (retail) are also made. The findings align with the notion that firms exposed to international markets cannot easily increase prices when wages increase, while non-tradable sectors can more readily shift the burden of higher labour costs onto consumers. Implementation of a uniform national minimum wage misses this nuance and could lead to intra-industry changes in concentration and inequality.

Wealth Inequality and Financial Inclusion: Evidence from South African Tax and Survey Records

Dieter von Fintel and Anna Orthofer demonstrate that financial inclusion reduces wealth inequality through the use of theoretical models. In particular, the research finds that improved savings by the middle-class, better provision for oversight over financial services targeted at the poor and the removal of impediments to the small business sector, are all pre-conditions for financial inclusion to reduce wealth inequality.