The people of South Africa, and the African National Congress-led government, have made extraordinary social and economic advances since ending apartheid and beginning the transition to democracy in 1994. But the country still faces severe problems of mass unemployment, underemployment and poverty. This study, sponsored by the United Nations Development Program, presents a detailed economic program designed to produce major reductions in unemployment and poverty, and a general spreading of economic well-being, and to achieve these ends in a manner that is sustainable over a longer-term framework.
The `employment-targeted' program developed here builds from standard policy tools and initiatives already undertaken by the government in the areas of macroeconomic policy, development banking and large-scale credit subsidies, labor-intensive public investments, and social welfare expenditures. The authors introduce these measures alongside specific proposals in the areas of fiscal budgetary control, inflation control and exchange rate management.
Students and scholars of development economics will find this analysis of South Africa's economy, and the authors' plan for stimulating job growth, of great interest.
Robert Pollin and Gerald A. Epstein, Professors and founding Co-Directors, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Leonce Ndikumana, Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts, US
Contents: 1. Introduction 2. The Nature of Mass Unemployment in South Africa Today 3. Supply-Side Perspectives on Employment Expansion 4. A Policy Framework on Growth, Labor Intensity, and Poverty Reduction 5. Policy Interventions for an Employment-Targeted Program Appendix 1: Sources of Employment Data and Employment Elasticity Estimate Appendix 2: Macroeconomic Policy Factors and Private Investment in South Africa Appendix 3: Estimation of Consumption Function for South Africa Appendix 4: Input-Output Model and Employment Multipliers Appendix 5: Securities Transaction Taxes Around the World as of 2002 Appendix 6: South Africa Monetary Policy Alternatives: VAR-Based Simulation Models Bibliography Index