Employment guarantee or minimum income? Workfare and welfare in developing countries
by Jeremy Seekings
International Journal of Environment, Workplace and Employment (IJEWE), Vol. 2, No. 1, 2006

Abstract: In many 'developing' countries widespread poverty is linked to landlessness and unemployment. Two possible responses to such poverty are employment guarantee (or public works) programmes and cash transfers. In general, low-wage job creation is the preferred option of both elites and citizens, but in South Africa cash transfers through a minimum income programme might, perversely, be more viable politically and effective more broadly in terms of poverty alleviation. The relative viability and efficacy of employment guarantees and cash transfers depends primarily on prevailing wages in the 'market'. In a high-wage economy such as South Africa, the political power of organised labour is generally sufficient to prevent low-wage employment creation in public works programmes. In the South African context – in contrast to low-wage settings such as India or Ethiopia – the extension of public welfare might be more viable than an employment guarantee, although the political obstacles should not be under-estimated.

Online publication date: Wed, 22-Mar-2006

The full text of this article is only available to individual subscribers or to users at subscribing institutions.

Existing subscribers:
Go to Inderscience Online Journals to access the Full Text of this article.

Pay per view:
If you are not a subscriber and you just want to read the full contents of this article, buy online access here.

Complimentary Subscribers, Editors or Members of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Environment, Workplace and Employment (IJEWE):
Login with your Inderscience username and password:

    Username:        Password:         

Forgotten your password?

Want to subscribe?
A subscription gives you complete access to all articles in the current issue, as well as to all articles in the previous three years (where applicable). See our Orders page to subscribe.

If you still need assistance, please email subs@inderscience.com