Policy Evaluation


1. Economywide Effects of Development Interventions: An Analytical Framework Applied to the South African Child Grants Program

South Africa has one of the largest social grants system in the developing world, and the Child Support Grant is one of their flagship. While a number of studies have looked at the impact the program has on the beneficiaries, little has been done to evaluate the impact of the program on society at large, particularly on non-beneficiaries that can potentially be selected into the program with planned expansions of the program. To fill this gap in the literature, this paper builds a novel analytical framework that combines the estimation and simulation techniques to assess the economy-wide general equilibrium effect of child grants to highlight the short-run poverty reduction and inequality outcomes associated with the program in South Africa. Surprisingly, findings show small general equilibrium effects of the program although the long-run economic and social impacts are more promising with positive impact on children’s education, health, and nutrition.


2. An investigation into food-away-from-home consumption in South Africa

The food-away-from-home (FAFH) sector in South Africa has continued to increase in popularity. This is illustrated by the increased presence of FAFH in the diets of the country’s citizens. However, the sector in South Africa remains un-researched with regard to understanding household preferences and the composition of consumer expenditure. This study analyses the effects of income and socio-demographic variables on FAFH expenditure for South Africa. These results will be useful to the foodservice sector and policy makers in order to identify potential customers, respond to current customers’ changing demands and develop marketing and operational strategies, and address important nutrition and health consequences, respectively. Data from Income and Expenditure Surveys (IESs) of 2005/2006 and 2010/2011 of StatsSA (Statistics South Africa) were used to estimate the responsiveness of household FAFH expenditure in South Africa to income and a number of socio-demographic variables. The IESs contain a large number of households with zero FAFH expenditure observations which means that the use of ordinary least squares (OLS) would result in biased and inconsistent results. Furthermore, omitting households with zero FAFH expenditure, and applying OLS reduces the sample size and consequently the efficiency of estimation.


3. Income and child labor : evidence from agricultural households in Ethiopia.

Child labour is closely associated with poverty. However, the direction of causality is an empirical question. There is need to control for potential endogeneity in order to be able to adequately estimate the factors that determine child labour. This study proposed a model of an agricultural household to explain the factors that affect the household’s decision to involve their children in child labour and the type of influence each factor has on the household. These factors include household resources, child characteristics, community characteristics, school availability, etc. The data was analysed using both Tobit and Logit models. The Tobit model was used to find the relationship between the factors and duration of child work while the Logit model was used for the participation of the child in farm work. The outcome of the analysis showed that among agricultural households in Ethiopia, child labour is a normal good increasing with income. However, the impact on the male child was different from that of the female child, suggesting that gender bias with respect to child labour might exist in Ethiopia. The male child is made to participate more in farm work than the female child, though the females responded more to household land holding (size). This can be attributed to the need for the household decision maker to substitute household chores performed by the female child for farm work. The substitution effect of increase in income on household decision on child farm work is higher than the income effect, irrespective of the gender of the child, although the effect was significant for the male child but not significant for the female child. Also, school availability is a very important factor for both the male and the female child. The impact of household size in this analysis suggests the presence of division of labour, and the significance of the mother’s education on the female child’s response suggests that the effect of cultural belief system changes with the mother’s education.