Planning Papers

Please note that the papers are in pdf format.  You will need to view them with Adobe Acrobat.

Health, Health Seeking Behavior, and Health Care

Author(s):  Cally Ardington and Anne Case
Health status and socioeconomic status are important determinants of individuals’ wellbeing.   Information on income alone, or on health alone, provides a less complete picture. Better health can lead to higher income, and higher income can lead to better health, so that we cannot fully understand the dynamics of either process without understanding both. Much of the research on international health and income has focused on the cross-country relationships between population health and national income. Starting from Preston (1975, 1980), these relationships have been used to investigate the causes of mortality decline, particularly the relative roles of income and of medical knowledge. And data on adult height have been used to investigate the causes of the historical decline in mortality, see in particular Fogel (1997, 2004), Floud, Wachter, and Gregory (1990), and Steckel (1995).  The Commission for Macroeconomics and Health (2001) used the same data to argue that it is health care, through its effect on health status, that is an important engine of economic growth. Another strand of research, particula rly associated with Sen (see for example Sen 1999), and embodied in UNDPs Human Development Index, argues that comparisons of wellbeing must look at health (and education) together with income.  Until relatively recently, surveys that collected information on income rarely collected comprehensive information on health, while most standardized health surveys, the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) being the most notable examples, contained at best rudimentary and unsatisfactory information on economic status. The National Income Dynamics Study would be an ideal vehicle to understand the joint determination of economic status and health status in South Africa.

Intra-Household Decision-Making and Resource Allocation, Social Networks and Social Cohesion

Author(s):  Malcolm Keswell and Justine Burns

The household is central to most policy initiatives aimed at reducing poverty, since it has long been thought that this is the most efficient way to transfer income and other resources towards those in need. Indeed, the household provides an important entry point for analysing poverty and inequality, since an individual's life chances are critically affected both by the material resources at the disposal of the household as well as the decisions made within the household concerning how those resources should be distributed. A key question is whether real households really operate the way they are meant to in the ArrowDebreu world and what implications this has for policy interventions aimed at changing the behaviour of individuals within these targeted households. Moreover, since households do not exist in isolation nor do they emerge out of thin air, it also becomes important to look at dynastic (or intergenerational) influences on families' outcomes, as well as the role of social networks.

Migration and remittances in South Africa

Author(s):  Daniela Casale and Dori Posel

Migration, at the broadest level, involves the movement of individuals over space and the change of an individual's place of residence. This general definition encompasses many different kinds of migration. Migration may be involuntary, where individuals or households are forced to move (for example, in response to forced removals or evictions) or it may voluntary,  here people "choose" to move. Migration may be internal, where people move within the country, or it may be international with people changing their country of residence. Migration may also be permanent because it implies a permanent change of residency, or it may be temporary in that migrants retain membership in their household (or country) of origin, to which they expect to return at some point in the future.

Questions on Demography for the National Income Dynamic Study

Author(s):  Tom Moultrie

This briefing paper sets out proposed questions for the National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS) that will ensure that the study will be able to answer questions relating to the intersection between demographic variables and the key foci of NIDS. The questions proposed have been selected for their relevance to the overarching goals of NIDS, and hence – while limited in number – are all regarded as highly important. Justifications for the inclusion of each question are provided.    In addition to the suggested questions for inclusion, we discuss the merits of including a birth history module (and how to maintain it in subsequent rounds); a retrospective death module; as well as the utility (or otherwise) of using information from Road to Health Cards.

Shocks, Assets and Credit

Author(s):   Malcolm Keswell and Justine Burns

Well functioning credit and insurance markets, in many respects, obviates the need for public policy that is oriented at providing support to households when they face economic hardship. But when the market for cheap informal credit is altogether absent, risk-averse (poorer) households will generally respond to such risks by adopting strategies that have long term consequences for their well being.

Suggestions for the Education Module of the South Africa National Income Dynamics Study

Author(s):  Cally Ardington and David Lam, January 2007
There can be little question that education plays a fundamental role in income dynamics, and that it should be an important focus of the National Income Dynamics Study. In preparing this document, we have been motivated by two basic questions. First, what are the key research and policy questions related to education in South Africa, especially in relation to income dynamics? Second, what dimensions of education are particularly well suited to analysis using longitudinal data of the type that will be collected in NIDS?

Surveying Commercial & Subsistence Agriculture

Author(s):  Beatrice Conradie, School of Economics

At the last count agriculture employed twice as many people as the mining sector and about four fifths of the number employed in the manufacturing sector. Together with domestic work, farm work is often seen as employment of last resort, a quasi-formal sector on the fringes of respectability. Much has been done since 1994 to improve job security, working conditions and, since 2003, pay for farm workers, but inadequate farm data allow only the sketchiest tracking of this process.  Income dynamics in agriculture are important for various reasons : On the commercial side, farming has put been under pressure by falling product prices in a global market and rising costs of production (Barrientos & Kritzinger, 2004). For land reform reasons it is important to know if commercial farming is viable. At the same time workers are supposed to have benefited from farm labour market reforms, but with a few small exceptions (Du Toit & Ally, 2003; Conradie, 2007) we simply do not know to what extent this has happened. On the subsistence side, ASGISA has identified agriculture as a key industry in the second economy (Mlambo-Ngcuka, 2006). We need good baseline data on subsistence agriculture and ongoing collection of reliable statistics to monitor the success of this initiative.

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