Fixing African Economies: Policy Research for Development

By Lucie Colvin Phillips; Diery Seck | Go to book overview

8
South Africa: Policy-Oriented Research on
Labor Markets and Poverty
Haroon Bhorat

South Africa, with its first democratic elections in 1994, left behind decades of official segregation and racism encapsulated in the nationalist policy of apartheid. While political liberation was achieved in April of that year, the economic vestiges of the past remained, and indeed continue to challenge the new government. Policymaking in South Africa has thus increasingly taken on an orientation of activating different levers of the economy to ensure high levels of growth and competitiveness together with significant attempts at reducing existing levels of poverty in the society. It soon became clear, however, that such policymaking could not take place in an information vacuum. What one found, then, was that during the course of the new dispensation, government officials began increasingly to turn to researchers in both academic and nonacademic institutions to assist them in the formulation of these new policies.

This chapter will attempt to describe this link between policymakers and researchers in one thematic area—that of poverty and labor markets. As will be shown, this area in and of itself yielded a series of fruitful (and in some cases less fruitful) linkages between research and policy formulation. In addition, while remaining quite focused, the chapter hopes to deliver an analysis that may be representative of experiences in other facets of the South African policy research landscape.


The Origins of the Research-Policy Relationship

South Africa does boast a fairly high level of engagement between the research community and policymakers. In most of the economic

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Fixing African Economies: Policy Research for Development
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • 1 - Fixing African Economies: the Research-Policy Nexus 1
  • Notes *
  • 2 - Ghana: Promoting Accountability and Transparency in Government Behavior 25
  • Notes *
  • 3 - Nigeria: Understanding Attitudes Toward Democracy and Markets 65
  • Notes *
  • 4 - Kenya: Policy Research and Policy Reform 95
  • Notes *
  • 5 - Tanzania: Policy Research and the Mining Boom 117
  • 6 - Madagascar: Using Policy Research in Formulating Tax Policy 129
  • Appendix - Other Recent Tax Policy Research in Madagascar *
  • Notes *
  • 7 - Ghana and Uganda: Considering Monetary and Exchange Rate Policies 155
  • Notes *
  • 8 - South Africa: Policy-Oriented Research on Labor Markets and Poverty 183
  • 9 - Conclusions 209
  • Acronyms 227
  • References 229
  • The Contributors 237
  • Index 243
  • About the Book 249
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