The Economics Society of South Africa (ESSA) 2023 Biennial Conference took place between 12-14th September at the CSIR Convention Centre in Pretoria. SALDRU was invited to organise two special sessions, one around SALDRU work and the other focused on African Centre of Excellence for Inequality Research (ACEIR) South Africa node projects.
The SALDRU session titled The Ripple Effect: Uncovering the Broad Impact of Social Protection on Society was chaired by Ariane De Lannoy and included four related papers. Lerato Shai, Private Office of the President, provided the framing to the session with a presentation on The Presidential Youth Employment Intervention (PYEI): coordinating social protection for meaningful impact. Joshua Budlender (co-author Ihsaan Bassier) followed with work on the Stimulus effects of public social programmes, focusing on the PYEI Basic Education Employment Initiative. Complementing this quantitative work, Senzelwe Mthembu presented work from a University of Johannesburg research team including Lauren Graham and Sophie Plagerso on The Social Relief of Distress Grant: how it stimulated local economies. The last paper, South African student retention during 2020: Evidence from system wide higher education institutional data, was presented by Nicola Branson (co-authors Vimal Ranchhod and Emma Whitelaw).
The ACEIR session drew on four papers from the ACEIR South Africa node projects on climate, conflict and asset inequality work. Muna Shifa (co-authors Fabio Andrés Díaz Pabón, Vimal Ranchhod, Takwanisa Machemedze) presented on Assets, climate change shocks, and wellbeing in South Africa. Fabio Andrés Díaz Pabón (co-author Muna Shifa) presented on Development, Inequalities, and Conflict: The case of Ethiopia. Faaiqa Hartley (authors Bruno Merven, Alison Hughes, Andrew Marquard, Vimal Ranchhod) presented on Estimating the economy-wide and redistributive impacts of mitigation in South AfricaLastly, Emma Whitelaw (co-authors Nicola Branson, Johs Hjellbrekke, Murray Leibbrandt, Vimal Ranchhod, Mike Savage) presented on The socio-economic dimensions of racial inequality in South Africa: A social space perspective.
Photographs of some of the presentations during the ACEIR session at the conference: