Gender, earnings and employment in post-apartheid South Africa.
This study looks at gender earnings differentials in post-apartheid South Africa. The main aim of this study is to illuminate the broad employment patterns of both men and women in South Africa’s labour market. This study then extends the analysis to consider the gender earnings differentials within formal wage work and self-employment as well as in informal wage work and self-employment using the National Income Dynamic Study (NIDS). NIDS is a nationally representative survey with 28 255 individuals and 7 305 households. This study found that a higher percentage of women than men are found within informal types of work. Women were found to be over-represented in low paying occupations such as in elementary work, in clerical jobs and in private households where they are likely to be employed in domestic work. This study then estimated the mean earnings for both men and women within these different sectors of work and it found that women on average earn less than men even after adjusting for hours of work. A greater gender wage differential was found to exist in informal types of work than in wage employment. In trying to explain this differential, there are a number of factors that may be used and one of such factors could be different human capital endowments between men and women. This study also found that the gender wage differentials can also be explained by where women work as well as the number of working hours women spend at work in comparison to men. However this study only managed to explain part of the gender wage differential. Due to self-selection and unobservable differences, part of the gender wage gap remains unexplained as the characteristics that cause women and men to select certain types of employment is beyond the scope of this study.