Fiscal incidence of social spending in South Africa, 2006

Stellenbosch Working Paper Series No. WP10/2009
 
Publication date: 2009
 
Author(s):
[protected email address] (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
 
Abstract:

This paper presents the findings of a study undertaken for the South African National Treasury regarding the expenditure incidence of social spending in South Africa in 2006, and also regarding changes in incidence in the period following democratisation. Concentration ratios and concentration curves show that there have been considerable shifts in social spending incidence in the period 1995 (the year after democracy) and 2006, the most recent observation. In particular, social spending grants have become a major tool of targeting resources to the poor. Although the poor now get considerably more of social spending than their population share, the very skew underlying income distribution means that the post-fiscal situation still is one with great inequality. Moreover, evidence is presented that spending efficiency for social spending is low, thus there is only a tenuous link between social spending and social outcomes. Thus great shifts in social spending have had a limited impact on poverty and inequality in South Africa.

 
JEL Classification:

H50, D63, I31, I32

Keywords:

Fiscal incidence, Social spending, Poverty, Inequality, South Africa

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BER Weekly

13 September 2021
It was a data-heavy week in SA, with the 2021Q2 real GDP data indicating that the economy had better-than-expected recovery momentum in the first half of the year. While growth remained solid in the second quarter, both the survey and actual data released last week revealed the significant impact that the range of shocks at the start of the third quarter...

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