Robust estimates of changes in poverty and inequality in post-independence Namibia

SOURCE: South African Journal of Economics
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2013
TITLE AUTHOR(S): S.Levine, B.Roberts
KEYWORDS: INEQUALITY, NAMIBIA, POVERTY
DEPARTMENT: Democracy, Governance and Service Delivery (DGSD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 7825

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Abstract

We estimate changes in the distribution of household consumption expenditure in Namibia since independence in 1990 and the effects on poverty. To produce comparability between two household surveys, we use survey-matching techniques, and we apply the framework of stochastic dominance to test the robustness of our results. The results reveal a significant decrease in the poverty headcount over the period and small but insignificant decreases in the country's extremely high levels of inequality. Decomposition analysis shows that poverty reduction in Namibia is largely driven by growth in mean incomes rather than redistribution. Even so, there have been important changes in inequality among different social groups especially as educational attainment has replaced ethnicity as the main determinant of between-group inequality.