Surviving unemployment without state support: Unemployment and household formation in South Africa
Stephan Klasen () and
Ingrid Woolard ()
No 129, SALDRU/CSSR Working Papers from Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town
While in many African countries, open unemployment is largely confined to urban areas and thus overall rates are quite low, in South Africa (and a few other Southern African countries), open unemployment rates hover around 30%, with rural unemployment rates being even higher than that. This occurs despite the near complete absence of an unemployment insurance system and little labour market regulation that applies to rural labour markets. This paper examines how unemployment can persist without support from unemployment compensation. Analysing household surveys from 1993, 1995, and 1998, we find that the household formation response of the unemployed is the critical way in which the unemployed assure access to resources. In particular, unemployment delays the setting up of an individual household by young persons, in some cases by decades. It also leads to the dissolution of existing households and a return of constituent members to parents and other relatives and friends. Access to state transfers (in particular, non-contributory old age pensions) increases the likelihood of attracting unemployed persons to a household. Some unemployed do not benefit from this safety net, and the presence of unemployed members pulls many households supporting them into poverty. We also show that the household formation response draw some of the unemployed away from employment opportunities, and thus lowers their employment prospects.
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
http://www.saldru.uct.ac.za/home/index.php?/compon ... 5/task,doc_download/ (application/pdf)
Journal Article: Surviving Unemployment Without State Support: Unemployment and Household Formation in South Africa (2009)
Working Paper: Surviving Unemployment without State Support: Unemployment and Household Formation in South Africa (2001)
Working Paper: Surviving Unemployment without State Support: Unemployment and Household Formation in South Africa (2000)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ldr:cssrwp:129
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in SALDRU/CSSR Working Papers from Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Alison Siljeur ().