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A major focus of RESEP labour research is to produce robust quantitative analysis on issues of unemployment and (minimum) wages, the teaching profession, and labour market decision making.

Publications: Labour

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 period in South Africa. Not only were they much more likely than men to lose their jobs between February and April or to work fewer hours compared to the pre-crisis period, they also took on a greater share of the additional childcare as a result of school closures and the suspension of all childcare services. In this policy paper, we use Wave 2 of NIDS-CRAM to explore how women and men have fared as the economy started to reopen and lockdown restrictions were relaxed.

December 7, 2020 By: Debra Shepherd, Daniela Casale PDF

Using international comparisons to inform debates on salaries for publicly paid educators in South Africa

This brief replicates UNESCO’s calculations, to determine whether South African teachers’ wages are comparable with those in Denmark. The level of teacher wages so determined was only USD71, which is similar to Japan and Italy, but even this seems unrealistically high. UNESCO uses purchasing power parity (PPP) exchange rates for converting teacher pay across countries to dollars – this is where the problem might be. As an alternative strategy to assess the adequacy of teacher pay in international comparison, we use teacher household assets instead of compensation as a proxy for teacher living standards. This results in findings which are considered to be plausible, as South Africa is then comparable with developing countries such as Botswana, Malaysia and Philippines.

October 1, 2020 By: Tsekere Maponya PDF

Study shows standardised reference letters increase employment prospects

A cost-effective intervention that is easy to implement – this is how researchers describe the standardised reference letter that was developed to assist unemployed South Africans in their search for a job. The study found that job-seekers with previous work experience who use reference letters in their job applications stand to increase their employment prospects by more than 50%.

March 9, 2020 By: RESEP Team PDF

The value of reference letters

Stellenbosch Working Paper Series No. WP06/2017

Stellenbosch Working Paper Series No. WP06/2017 Publication date: June 2017 Abstract: We show that reference letters from former employers alleviate information asymmetries about workers’ skills…

July 16, 2018 By: Rulof Burger PDF