The Effects of Apartheid on Occupational Distribution and Standards of Living in South Africa from 1948-1994

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Economics | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Louis Johnston, Economics


This thesis examines the economics of apartheid, specifically looking at how the job colour bar (job reservation laws) and occupational labour distribution affected South Africa during 1948-1994. Major governmental policies and other significant events relating to the job colour bar and occupational distribution are analyzed in relation to the country’s economy during apartheid. Through collected data and constructed models utilizing educational attainment as a proxy measure for skill level, actual production during apartheid is analyzed and the potential of the country’s production is determined during that same specified time. The results and comparisons of actual results to potential results give insight into the value of the costs and effects of having such a system in place.