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Current Projects

The DPRU is currently engaged in a variety of interesting and diverse projects and studies.  Our research programme has recently been able to enter new terrain, principally through the availability of unique or new datasets.  Be it the data on recipients of unemployment insurance, or dispute resolution, or even strikes, these novel datasets have opened up an entirely new and rich set of economic and econometric questions, which were not previously possible.

Labour Market Intelligence Partnership Project (LMIP)

The DPRU is involved in the sector studies included in Theme 3: such as skills biased labour demand, the New Growth Path, SETA Labour Markets, the Informal Sector and Human Capital Accumulation and Pro-poor Growth.
Funder: Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
- Report #23: The Role of Post-school Education and Training Institutions in Predicting Labour Market Outcomes (FORTHCOMING)
- Policy Brief: The Role Of Skills And Education In Predicting Micro-Enterprise Performance. (FORTHCOMING).
- Presentation: SETA Labour Market Pilot Survey: Results and Key Learnings, Policy Roundtable 7, 5 August 2015.
Further papers to be published in 2017

Research Project on Employment, Income Distribution and Inclusive Growth (REDI 3x3)

The DPRU is responsible for the Inclusive Growth theme, and we are involved in an infrastructure data project (related to the income and expenditure surveys), and papers covering the informal economy, and risk mitigation through micro-insurance, asset poverty and other gaps in current research.
Funder: National Treasury through SALDRU
Project Outputs: Papers include: 

Understanding the African Lions: Growth Traps and Opportunities in Six African Economies

The "African Lions" research project examined the economic growth and development experiences of six key fast-growing or economically dominant African countries, to better understand the relationship between economic growth and employment outcomes at the detailed country level.
2016 Book Launch event hosted by Brookings in Washington D.C.
Project Outputs: Six country papers have been collated into a series of WIDER and Brookings working papers in 2015/6, and an edited book was published by Brookings Press in 2016.
1. Seid, Y., Taffesse, A.Seyoum & Ali, S.Nuru (2015) Ethiopia—an agrarian economy in transition. 2015/154. Helsinki: UNU-WIDER. (Also an August 2016 Brookings Working Paper)
2. Bhorat, H., K. Naidoo, M. Oosthuizen and K. Pillay (2015). Demographic, employment, and wage trends in South Africa"2015/141. Helsinki: UNU-WIDER.  (Also a June 2016 Brookings Working Paper)
3. Aryeetey, E. and W. Baah-Boateng (2015). ‘Understanding Ghana’s Growth Success Story And Job Creation Challenges’. 2015/140. Helsinki: UNU-WIDER. (Also a June 2016 Brookings Working Paper)
4. Kimenyi, M.S., F.M. Mwega and N.S. Ndung'u (2015). ‘The African Lions: Kenya Country Case Study’. 2015/134. Helsinki: UNU-WIDER.  (Also a May 2016 Brookings Working Paper)
5. Ajakaiye, O., A.T. Jerome, D. Nabena and O.A. Alaba (2015). ‘Understanding The Relationship Between Growth And Employment In Nigeria’. 2015/124. Helsinki: UNU-WIDER. (Also a May 2016 Brookings Working Paper)
6. Jones, S. and F. Tarp (2015). ‘Understanding Mozambique’S Growth Experience Through An Employment Lens’. WIDER Working Paper 2015/109. Helsinki: UNU-WIDER. (Also an April 2016 Brookings Working Paper)
UNU-WIDER Research Brief: Demographic, employment, and wage trends in South Africa

Counting Women's Work (CWW)

The Counting Women’s Work (CWW) project is a three-year research project (2014-2016) involving research teams from around the world, with the goal of bringing the economic lives of women and girls into view in a more comprehensive manner than ever before. Our work will provide data and analysis to help develop better policies around economic development, care for children and the elderly, investments in human capital, and gender equity in the workplace and the home.
Funder: The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the International Development Research Centre
For more information visit

National Transfer Accounts: The Case of South Africa

Shaping social protection in Africa: Estimates of National Transfer Accounts for South Africa.
Funder: The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) through the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
Project Outputs: 1. Project report: Maximising South Africa's Demographic Dividend.
Funder: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Project Outputs:
3. Bonus or Mirage? South Africa's Demographic Dividend, The Journal of the Economics of Ageing. 

Low Income Countries (LIC) in SubSaharan Africa

The paucity of LIC labour market data, its varying quality, and the lack of baseline information makes it essential to provide a broad descriptive and basic econometric overview of a sample of LIC labour markets in sub-Saharan Africa. Specifically, we are developing a series of papers that focus on a sample of four African LICs: Kenya, Uganda, Zambia and Tanzania, describing and profiling their labour market in a systematic and consistent way.