Estimating the benefits of linking ties in a deeply divided society: considering the relationship between domestic workers and their employers in South Africa

Stellenbosch Working Paper Series No. WP18/2013
 
Publication date: 2013
 
Author(s):
[protected email address] (Departement Ekonomie, Universiteit van Stellenbosch)
[protected email address] (Departement Ekonomie, Universiteit van Stellenbosch)
[protected email address] (Departement Ekonomie, Universiteit van Stellenbosch)
 
Abstract:

In South Africa social exclusion remains a problem due to the multiple and overlapping divisions in post-apartheid society and the lack of linking ties bridging the worlds of those who have plenty and those without. To quantify the potential benefit of such linking ties for socio-economic mobility, we examine the relationship between domestic workers and their employers – a case where we find frequent, proximate and intimate contact between individuals from these two different worlds. We construct a well matched comparison group for domestic workers via propensity score matching using a pooled version of seven General Household Surveys. The households of domestic workers appear to have lower unemployment duration and better quality jobs, a higher likelihood of owning assets and a lower prevalence of child and adult hunger. These differences provide evidence that the linking ties of domestic workers with their more affluent employers increase well-being in a way that is consistent with social network theory.

 
JEL Classification:

Z13, Z10, D63

Keywords:

Social capital, social networks, domestic workers, inequality, South Africa

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21 January
Domestically, markets were focused on the latest meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the SA Reserve Bank (SARB) last week. On the global front, the news flow was dominated by British political chaos associated with the Brexit debacle. Besides a brief overview of the MPC decision, the domestic section looks at the latest retail sales data,...

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BER Weekly

21 January
Domestically, markets were focused on the latest meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the SA Reserve Bank (SARB) last week. On the global front, the news flow was dominated by British political chaos associated with the Brexit debacle. Besides a brief overview of the MPC decision, the domestic section looks at the latest retail sales data,...

Read the full issue