South African poverty lines: a review and two new money-metric thresholds

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Show simple item record Budlender, Joshua Leibbrandt, Murray Woolard, Ingrid 2015-08-27T19:00:00Z 2015-08-27T19:00:00Z 2015-08
dc.identifier.citation Budlender, J., Leibbrandt, M., Woolard, I. (2015). South African poverty lines: a review and two new money-metric thresholds A Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit Working Paper Number 151. Cape Town: SALDRU, University of Cape Town
dc.identifier.isbn 978-1-928281-12-2
dc.description.abstract Unlike some other countries, there is no legislated poverty line for South Africa. Various absolute poverty lines exist, but there has been little analysis of the methodological decisions underpinning each line. There is no consensus as to which line is best. This paper critically reviews existing South African poverty lines and introduces two new money-metric thresholds. These poverty lines are created according to Ravallion’s (1994) Cost of Basic Needs method and use a combination of household survey data, caloric information for various foods, and price data. Our methodology is described in depth, and the implications of unavoidable methodological decisions are discussed. The theoretical foundations of the method are also examined, and it is argued that the lower-bound poverty line is not conceptually coherent and is not appropriate for poverty measurement. The upper-bound and food poverty lines remain worthwhile, however. The implications of these lines for rudimentary estimates of poverty are then examined, using the 2010/2011 Income and Expenditure Survey. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship The authors acknowledge and appreciate the extensive support received from Statistics South Africa. Without the agency’s support this paper would likely not have been possible, and we therefore view it as somewhat of a collaborative effort. In this regard we are particularly grateful to Sandile Simelane and Marietjie Bennett. We also thank Morne Oosthuizen from the Development Policy Research Unit, who provided invaluable advice regarding the conversion of food expenditures into calories. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries SALDRU Working Paper;151
dc.subject Poverty line en_US
dc.subject Money-metric thresholds en_US
dc.subject Income and Expenditure Survey en_US
dc.subject South Africa en_US
dc.title South African poverty lines: a review and two new money-metric thresholds en_US
dc.type Working Paper en_US

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