Annual Forum Papers

Labour Migration and Households: a Reconsideration of the Effects of the Social Pension on Labour Supply in South Africa

  • Year: 2004
  • Publication Author(s): Dorrit Posel; James Fairburn; Frances Lund
  • Countries and Regions: South Africa

This paper re-examines the effect of the South African social pension on the labour supply of working-age adults using data from 1993. We take account of the fact that households may include non-resident members, and therefore that the pension may play a role in facilitating migration to work or look for work. We find that rural African women are significantly more likely to be migrant workers when they are members of a household in receipt of a pension, and that it is female pension income that drives this result. We explore a number of possible reasons why pension income might have this effect.