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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - South African Journal of Economics
Title South African apartheid, black-white inequality, and economic growth: Implications for reparations
Author(s)
Volume 71
Issue 3
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2003
Page numbers 611-630
URL https://doi-org/10.1111/j.1813-6982.2003.tb00088.x
Abstract
This paper provides a heuristic and theoretical framework that will permit an assessment of the costs and damages incurred by blacks in South Africa under an apartheid scheme that constrained their living standards below that of white South Africans. Taking seriously the Theory of Restitution, the paper is motivated by the following question: As a historic relationship between white and black South Africans, what reparable costs/damages did apartheid impose upon blacks? The paper provides a two period consumption model of a representative white South African who has a preference, enabled by an apartheid regime, for a high level of consumption relative to black South Africans. Two propositions are established that demonstrate the adverse effects that apartheid had on economic growth and black South African income. The implications of these propositions for reparations policy are discussed. Next, an empirical cross-household growth regression model is proposed. Fitted to survey data on South African households, the empirical growth model can provide estimates of the reparable damages incurred by black South Africans as a result of apartheid-induced preferences for high white relative to black consumption.

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