Recent RESEP PhD graduates

Three RESEP doctoral candidates were capped at a recent Stellenbosch University (SU) Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences graduation ceremony for PhDs. Congratulations to Joel…
April 7, 2021 By: RESEP Team PDF

A new report looks into the effects of the COVID-19 on global indicators of early-grade learning proficiency

Martin Gustafsson has recently published a report titled "Pandemic-related disruptions to schooling and impacts on learning proficiency indicators in which he has modelled the possible…
April 6, 2021 By: RESEP Team PDF






Research on Socioeconomic Policy (RESEP) is a group of scholars and students interested in issues of poverty, income distribution, social mobility, economic development and social policy. Based at the Department of Economics at the University of Stellenbosch. The team is lead by Servaas van der Berg, whose position as the Chair in the Economics of Social Policy since 2008, has lead to the further consolidation of research within these areas.

Recent Papers

The latest working papers, publications, reports and policy briefs by RESEP researchers.
2020 Authors Debra Shepherd Development Development - Working Papers Development 2020 Labour - Working Papers Labour 2020 Research Outputs Working Papers
December 7, 2020

The gendered effects of the ongoing lockdown and school closures in South Africa: Evidence from NIDS-CRAM Waves 1 and 2

The data from Wave 1 of NIDS-CRAM showed that women were disproportionately affected by the Covid- 19 crisis and the first month of the lockdown…
By: Debra Shepherd, Daniela Casale

Schools in the time of COVID-19: impacts of the pandemic on curriculum

This working paper presents the findings of research into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the curriculum in South Africa. Four research questions frame…
November 3, 2020 By: Ursula Hoadley (School of Education, University of Cape Town) PDF

Separating Employment Effects into Job Destruction and Job Creation

This paper presents new evidence on the employment effects of a large increase in agricultural minimum wages in South Africa using anonymized tax data.
May 18, 2020 By: Dieter von Fintel, Marlies Piek, Johann Kirsten PDF

Mother-tongue Instruction or Straight-for-English? The Primary Education Policy Dilemma

Language-in-education policy has a powerful influence on social and economic relations, with complex dimensions in multilingual and unequal societies such as South Africa.

Perseverance, Passion, and Poverty: Examining the association between grit and reading achievement in high-poverty schools

Stellenbosch Working Paper Series No. WP06/2020
This paper examines whether school characteristics moderate the association between grit and reading achievement in a sample of Grade 6 learners in high-poverty contexts.
April 20, 2020 By: Heleen Hofmeyr PDF

Ongoing Projects

Ongoing Projects
October 22, 2020

Reading and socio-emotional skills in challenging school contexts: Evidence from South African primary schools

This project is linked to the Early Learning Programme (ELP) and uses data from the Readership and Literacy project but is also supplemented by others…
By: Gabrielle Wills, Heleen Hofmeyr, Rebecca Selkirk, Servaas van der Berg, E. Pretorius (UNISA), C. Ardington (UCT), N. Mohohlwane (DBE), Nwabisa Makaluza (RESEP/ Funda Wanda), N. Mtsatse (Funda Wanda)
Ongoing Projects
October 22, 2020

Early Learning Programme (ELP)

A portion of this project includes reanalysing WCED CEMIS and Systemic Tests to determine how early learning performance affects progressions, dropout, and matric results. The…
Ongoing Projects
October 21, 2020

What SA_SAMS/Data Driven Districts data reveal about South African School Education

Using longitudinal data components and disability statistics, this project aims to investigate school-based assessments. Funds have been received from the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation.…


RESEP (Research on Socio-Economic Policy)
RESEP is a group of researchers in the Department of Economics at the University of Stellenbosch.


RESEP has received funding for its research from various organisations and governments. In recent years, funding for research has been provided by, amongst others, The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Endowment; The UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC); UNICEF offices in South Africa, Namibia and Eswatini; Zenex Foundation, Tshikululu Social Investments, PSPPD (Presidency/European Union) and The National Research Foundation (NRF).