WP 01/049 - Racial Wage Discrimation in South Africa: Before and After the First Democratic Election

Gaute Erichsen and Jeremy Wakeford

Date of Publication: 
May 2001

Apartheid in South Africa was formally discarded by the first free election in 1994. Prior to 1994, discrimination in the labour market was embodied in a number of policies (pass laws, occupational colour barring etc.). While such polices have been eliminated by the ANC government, it is likely that the eradication of racial wage discrimination altogether will be a lengthy process. In this working paper, racial wage discrimination is treated via a multilateral wage decomposition technique. Each observed wage differential is broken down into a productivity component and a discrimination component so that the extent of racial wage discrimination can be estimated. Using data collected just before 1993 and just after 1995 the first democratic election, it can be concluded that previous findings of long-term declining discrimination are reversed in the post-apartheid era.

Download Working Paper: DPRU WP 01/049