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Citation Information

Type Working Paper - CWW Working Paper WP8
Title Counting Women’s Work in South Africa: Incorporating unpaid work into estimates of the economic lifecycle in 2010
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2018
National Transfer Accounts (NTA) have been used to describe the generational economy in countries around the world, including South Africa. However, gender dis-aggregations highlight the fact that the contributions made particularly by women within the household are invisible, the result of NTA’s link to the System of National Accounts. Women’s economic contribution (i.e. production) is therefore underestimated, giving a false sense of patterns of dependency by gender and age. This paper addresses this issue by constructing National Time Transfer Accounts (NTTA) for South Africa using time-use and NTA data from 2010, allowing the construction of a more complete picture of total production and consumption across the lifecycle. Based on these estimates, householdproductionisvaluedat27.3percentofGDPin2010, of which almost three-quarters is contributed by females. While per capita consumption rises at all ages once household production is included, it is more than tripled for infants, revealing that the majority of the consumption by infants and young children is of non-market services, particularly care. Reducing gender-based differences in labour income is found to have a beneficial impact on both the magnitude and duration of the first demographic dividend.

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