Professor Haroon Bhorat
Director, DPRU, School of Economics, UCT
Expertise: Labour Economics, Poverty, Income Distribution, Inclusive Growth, Minimum Wages
Haroon Bhorat is Professor of Economics and Director of the Development Policy Research Unit at the University of Cape Town. His research interests cover labour economics, poverty and income distribution. He has co-authored and co-edited a number of books on labour market and poverty issues in Africa. Haroon has published more than 200 academic journal articles, book chapters and working papers. In September 2019, Haroon was nominated to sit on the Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC), established by President Ramaphosa to generate new ideas for economic growth, job creation and addressing poverty.
Haroon has his PhD in Economics through Stellenbosch University in South Africa. He studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was a Cornell University research fellow. He holds the highly prestigious National Research Chair under the theme of Economic Growth, Poverty and Inequality: Exploring the Interactions for South Africa. In October 2020, he was elected as a Fellow of the UCT College of Fellows. The fellowship is awarded in recognition of original, distinguished academic work that merits special recognition. In 2018, he was appointed by UCT Vice-Chancellor Prof. Phakeng as the university’s “SDG academic focal point” to help guide UCT’s strategic approach to engagement with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. His commitments at UCT include lecturing Advanced Labour Economics (Hons), and supervision to Honours, Masters and Phd students.
Haroon is a Non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution affiliated to the Global Economy and Development Program, and the Africa Growth Initiative (AGI), a Research Fellow at IZA, the Institute for the Study of Labour in Bonn, and an Honorary Research Fellow at the Human Sciences Council (HSRC). He sits on the editorial advisory board of the World Bank Economic Review, and is a Board Member of the National Research Foundation (NRF) and UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), and previously sat on the HSRC Board.
Haroon consults with international organizations such as the ILO, the UNDP, the World Bank, Ratings Agencies and emerging market fund managers. He sits on the Advisory Board of the UNDP’s 2019 Human Development Report, was a member of the World Bank’s Advisory Board of the Commission on Global Poverty, as well as a member of the Program Committee of the 2017 International Economic Association (IEA) World Congress. He is a member on the Advisory Committee of the joint United Nations and World Bank Policy Study on the role of Development in the Prevention of Violent Conflict. He is also a member of the UN/WHO’s High Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth. Haroon previously served as a member of the UN Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor (LEP), and was Head of Research for the UN’s High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
Haroon has undertaken extensive work for several South African government departments – most notably the South African Department of Labour, the Presidency and the National Treasury. Haroon was appointed as an Advisor on the South African Parliament’s High Level Panel on Acceleration of Change and Transformation. He served as an economic advisor to two past Ministers of Finance including Min. Pravin Gordhan, and previous Presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe, formally serving on the Presidential Economic Advisory Panel.
Latest Research & Publications:
- The Wits School of Governance: Labour Force Survey Data for South Africa: A Brief Assessment webinar, featuring Prof. Haroon Bhorat as guest speaker. 16 Novembr 2020.
Lockdown Economics: Will the Economic Recovery Plan Work? Hosted by Ray Hartley (Brenthurst Foundation) and Christiaan Endres (Konrad Adenauer Stiftung) featuring Prof Haroon Bhorat and Annabel Bishop. GAP webinar series with @KASonline. 16 October 2020.
- The Rise of the Missing Middle in South Africa: Sygnia webinar 28 August 2020.
- The challenge of economic growth in South Africa: Sygnia webinar 19 August 2020.
- South Africa's greatest economic adversary is itself, how can it change the destructive course it is on? (Discussion paper) featuring interviews with Mcebisi Jonas and Haroon Bhorat, 28July 2020.
The impact of Covid-19 in South Africa: Haroon Bhorat in conversation with Daniel S Hamermesh. IZA World of Labor. 22 July 2020.
- The Economic Costs of South Africa's Lockdown: Hosted by Henning Suhr, Tim Cohen, and Dr Greg Mills featuring Prof Haroon Bhorat. Second in the Brenthurst Foundation GAP webinar series with @KASonline. 10 July 2020.
- Webinar: Global Economy and Africa Post-#COVID_19: Discussion: Haroon Bhorat, Ayhan Kose (World Bank Director), and Rudi Steinbach (World Bank Sr. Economist). 7 July 2020.
- "Understanding the Economics of Covid-19 in South Africa: Early Impressions" - Presentation to Sygnia Group, 24 June 2020.
- United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) online global debate on Africa's COVID-19 lockdown exit strategies, 7 May 2020.
- Book Launch Webinar: The Asian Aspiration, Apr 29, 2020
- IEA and Royal Economic Society: Developing Nations and COVID 19, Apr 24, 2020
- Book review: Inclusive Dualism: Labour intensive Development, Decent Work and Surplus Labour in Southern Africa", The Journal of Development Studies (FJDS). (FORTHCOMING).
- Measuring Multidimensional Labour Law Violation, With an Application to South Africa. British Journal of Industrial Relations (FORTHCOMING). (Co-authored with Kanbur, R., Stanwix, B. and Thornton, A.)
- Social Assistance Amidst the Covid-19 Epidemic in South Africa: An Impact Assessment. South African Journal of Economics (FORTHCOMING). (Co-authored with Oosthuizen, M. and Stanwix, B.)
- Minimum wages in sub-Saharan Africa: A primer. The World Bank Research Observer, 32(1), Feb 2017 pp: 21-74. (Co-authored with Kanbur, R. and Stanwix, B.)
- IZA Journal of Labor & Development: Special Collection: Thematic series on Reforming Minimum Wage and Labor Regulation Policies in Developing Economies (2016). (Co-edited with Kanbur, R. and Shi, Li).
- Higher Education, Employment, and Economic Growth: Exploring the interactions. Development Southern Africa, LMIP Special Issue (2016) 33(3). (Co-authored with Cassim, A. and Tseng, D.)
- Minimum Wages and Youth: The Case of South Africa. Journal of African Economies. Vol. 25, AERC Supplement 1, pp. i61–i102. (Co-authored with Cassim, A., Kanbur, R., Stanwix, B. & Yu, D.)
- Partial Minimum Wage Compliance. IZA Journal of Labor & Development (2015) November, 4(18). (Co-authored with Kanbur, R. and Stanwix, B.)
- Estimating the Impact of Minimum Wages on Employment, Wages, and Non-wage Benefits: The Case of Agriculture in South Africa. American Journal of Agricultural Economics (2014) October, 96(5): 1402–1419 (Co-authored with Kanbur, R. and Stanwix, B.)
- Labour Market Policy Responses amidst Globalisation: The Case of South Africa. In: Making Globalization more inclusive: Lessons from experience with adjustment policies. 2019 Edited by: Bacchetta, M., Milet, E. and Monteiro, J. Chapter 7, pp.163-182. WTO: Geneva. (Co-authored with Lilenstein, K. and Steenkamp, F.)
- Sub-Saharan Africa’s Manufacturing Sector: Building Complexity. In: The Quality of Growth in Africa, Columbia University Press. August 2019. Edited by: Kanbur, R., Noman, A. and Stiglitz, J.E. Chapter 8. (Co-authored with Kanbur, R., Rooney, C. and Steenkamp, F.)
- Shadow State: The Politics of State Capture, edited by: Chipkin, I. and Swilling, M. Wits University Press, 2018. (Co-authored with Buthelezi, M.; Chipkin, I.; Duma, S.; Friedenstein, H.; Mondi, L.; Peter, C.; Prins, N.; Qobo, M. and Swilling, M.)
- Understanding and characterizing the services sector in South Africa: An overview. In: Industries Without Smokestacks: Industrialization in Africa Reconsidered, Oxford University Press, 2018. Edited by: Tarp, F., Newfarmer, R. and Page, J. Chapter 14, pp: 275-295. (Co-authored with Rooney, C. and Steenkamp, F.)
- Income Inequality Trends in sub-Saharan Africa: Divergence, determinants and consequences. UNDP 2017, New York.
(Co-edited with Conceição, P., Cornia, G.A., and Odusola, A.)
- Employment outcomes and earnings in post-apartheid South Africa. In: Towards employment-intensive growth in South Africa, edited by Anthony Black. UCT Press 2016, pp 80-107. (Co-authored with Mayet, N.)
- Policy co-ordination and growth traps in a middle-income country setting: The case of South Africa. In: The Practice of Industrial Policy, edited by John Page and Finn Tarp. Oxford University Press 2017. Chapter 11, pp 211-233. (Co-authored with Cassim, A. and Hirsch, A.)
- The Pursuit of Long-Run Economic Growth in Africa: Key Challenges. In: Africa's Lions: Growth Traps and Opportunities for Six African Economies, Brookings Press 2016. Co-edited with Finn Tarp. Chapter 1, pp 1-36. (Co-authored with Tarp, F.)
- Demographic, employment, and wage trends in South Africa. In: Africa's Lions: Growth Traps and Opportunities for Six African Economies, Brookings Press 2016. Co-edited with Finn Tarp. pp 229 - 272 (Co-authored with Naidoo, K., Oosthuizen, M. and Pillay, K.)
- Employment outcomes and earnings in post-apartheid South Africa. In Towards employment-intensive growth in South Africa, UCT Press 2016. Edited by Anthony Black. pp 80 - 107 (Co-authored with Mayet, N.)
- Book: Oxford Companion to the Economics of South Africa. Oxford University Press. 2014. (Co-edited with Hirsch, A., Kanbur, R. and Ncube, M.)
Collaborative Working Papers
- Growth and Structural Change: Implications for Income Inequality in Developing Countries. Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung – FES Study, October 2020. (Co-authored with Asmal, Z. and Allen, C.)
- Social assistance during South Africa’s national lockdown: Examining the COVID-19 grant, changes to the Child Support Grant, and post-October policy options. NIDS-CRAM Wave 2 Working Paper 2020/09, Sept 2020. (Co-authored with Köhler, T.)
- Covid-19, social protection, and the labour market in South Africa. Are social grants being targeted at the most vulnerable?. NIDS-CRAM Wave 1 Working Paper 2020/06, July 2020. (Co-authored with Köhler, T.)
- Wage Polarization In A High-Inequality Emerging Economy: The Case Of South Africa. WIDER Working Paper 2020/55. Helsinki: UNU-WIDER. (Co-authored with Lilenstein, K., Oosthuizen, M. and Thornton, A.)
- Structural transformation, inequality, and inclusive growth in South Africa. WIDER Working Paper 2020/50. Helsinki: UNU-WIDER. (Co-authored with Hill, R., Lilenstein, K. and Thornton, A.)
- Job spells in an emerging market: Evidence from apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa. WIDER Working Paper 2020/27. Helsinki: UNU-WIDER. (Co-authored with Lilenstein, K., Oosthuizen, M. and Thornton, A.)
- Employment creation potential, labor skills requirements, and skill gaps for young people: A methodological framework, Brookings AGI Working Paper #25, 4 March 2020. (Co-authored with Allen, C., Asmal, Z., Hill, R. and Rooney, C.
- Building Economic Complexity in the South African Fibrous Plant Economy. Working Paper: DPRU DSI-NRF CoP/WP20190, October 2019. (Co-authored with Allen, C., Hill, R., Rooney, C. and Steenkamp, F.)
- Minimum Wages and Labor Supply in an Emerging Market: The Case of Mauritius. Policy Research Working Paper 8681. World Bank Group Poverty and Equity Global Practice, December 2018. (Co-authored with Asmal, Z., Kanbur, R., Ranzani, M. and Paci, P.)
- Economic Growth and Pursuit of Inequality Reduction in Africa. Group of 24 and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung New York: Growth and Reducing Inequality Working Paper Series, 29 October 2018. (Co-authored with Naidoo, K.)
- Social assistance during South Africa’s national lockdown: Examining the COVID-19 grant, changes to the Child Support Grant, and post-October policy options. WP 202009. (Co-authored with Köhler, T.)
- COVID-19, social protection, and the labour market in South Africa: Are social grants being targeted at the most vulnerable? WP 202008. (Co-authored with Köhler, T.)
- The Employment Tax Incentive Scheme in South Africa: An Impact Assessment. WP 202007. (Co-authored with Hill, R., Khan, S., Lilenstein, K and Stanwix, B.)
- Social Assistance Amidst the Covid-19 Epidemic in South Africa: An Impact Assessment. WP 202006. (Co-authored with Oosthuizen, M. and Stanwix, B.)
- Jobs, Economic Growth, and Capacity Development for Youth in Africa. WP 202005. (Co-authored with Oosthuizen, M.)
- The Economics of Covid-19 in South Africa: Early Impressions. WP 202004 [Forthcoming]. (Co-authored with Köhler, T., Oosthuizen, M., Stanwix, B., Steenkamp, F. and Thornton, A.).
- Measuring Physical Interaction in the Workplace and on the Way to Work. WP 202003. (Co-authored with Thornton, A., Köhler, T. and Oosthuizen, M.)
- Measuring Multidimensional Labour Law Violation with an Application to South Africa. WP 202002. (Co-authored with Kanbur, R., Stanwix, B. and Thornton, A.)
- Crime and Inequality in South Africa: Non-Linear Outcomes Under Extreme Inequality. WP 202001. DPRU, University of Cape Town. (Co-authored with Lilenstein, A., Monnakgotla, J., Thornton, A. and Van Der Zee, K.)
- Labour Market Policy Responses amidst Globalisation: The Case of South Africa”. WP 201903 (Co-authored with Lilenstein, K. and Steenkamp, F.)