Karmen Naidoo

Senior Researcher - Currently on sabbatical 2015-2016

Expertise: Development Economics, Financial Sector, Financial Inclusion, Small & Medium Size Enterprise (SME) Financing

Karmen obtained both an Honours degree and a Masters degree in Economics from the University of Cape Town. She also holds a Masters degree in Development Economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Prior to joining the DPRU in October 2013, Karmen worked as an Analyst at Genesis Analytics. Her work focused on financial systems and development, and includes projects relating to the promotion of financial inclusion as well as improving small and medium size enterprise (SME) financing. Over this time, Karmen worked on projects in South Africa as well as in a number of other African countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Botswana, Swaziland and Mauritius.

Since joining the DPRU, Karmen has worked on a range of projects. She has conducted work on assessing skills gaps and the impact of the training of firm employees in South Africa. Furthermore, she has been involved in profiling, through the use of micro-datasets, poverty, inequality and labour markets in selected African economies.

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‚ÄčLatest Research:

  1. Working Paper: Trade Unions in an Emerging Economy: The Case of South Africa. 2014. UN University-Wider Working Paper WP/2014/055 (co-authored with Bhorat, H. and Yu, D.). Available:
  2. Working Paper: Do Industrial Disputes Reduce Employment? Evidence from South Africa. 2014. DPRU Working Paper (co-authored with Bhorat, H. and Jacobs, E.)
  3. Accelerating Progress Towards the MDGs: The case of Zambia. 2013. Background paper to the World Bank’s MDG Acceleration Framework (MAF) report (co-authored with Bhorat, H.)
  4. Policy Brief: Africa’s Jobs Challenge. 2013. DPRU PB13/30 (co-authored with Bhorat, H.). Available:
  5. Book Chapter: Trade Unions in an Emerging Economy: The Case of South Africa (2014). In Lin, Justin and Monga, Celestin (ed.) Handbook of Africa and Economics, Oxford University Press, (co-authored with Bhorat, H. and Yu, D.).
  6. Blog: Sub-Saharan Africa’s Twin Jobs Challenge, 2014, Brookings Africa Growth Initiative Africa in Focus. Available: