Amy Julia Thornton

Amy Julia Thornton
University of Cape Town | UCT · Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU)

Masters in Applied Economics

About

16
Publications
7,708
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65
Citations
Citations since 2017
13 Research Items
63 Citations
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Introduction
Amy Julia Thornton is a post-doctoral fellow at the Southern African Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU) and African Centre for Excellence in Inequality Research (ACEIR) at the University of Cape Town. Amy uses uses survey data to study topics related to gender, economic demography, and the labour market in South Africa.

Publications

Publications (16)
Chapter
Full-text available
This book explores this developer’s dilemma or ‘Kuznetsian tension’ between structural transformation and income inequality. Developing countries are seeking economic development—that is, structural transformation—which is inclusive in the sense that it is broad-based and raises the income of all, especially the poor. Thus, inclusive economic growt...
Article
The October Household Surveys (OHS) (1994–1999) and the General Household Surveys (GHS) (2002–present) collected by StatsSA comprise South Africa's only nationally representative time series with information on both people and households for (almost) every year of the post‐apartheid period. However, the quality of these data has been compromised by...
Article
Previous economic downturns such as the recent 2008-2009 global financial crisis have tended to disproportionately affect male employment due to greater contractions in industries typically filled by men (e.g. manufacturing). However, the expected recession triggered by the current COVID-19 pandemic could lead to worse labour market outcomes for wo...
Article
The rights of workers contained in labour law are multi‐dimensional, and where workers face violations in more than one dimension, this compounds worker vulnerability. Yet, past analysis has tended to concentrate on compliance one dimension at a time — often with an almost exclusive focus on minimum wages. How can we conceptualize and measure compl...
Preprint
Full-text available
Given the role of physical human proximity and contact in the spread of COVID-19, we build an index measuring the level of physical interaction for different occupations. Our Physical Interaction Index combines occupational work context information from O*NET and work travel information from the 2010 StatsSA Time Use Survey. We merge this with Sout...
Preprint
Full-text available
Early impressions of the economics of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa. We focused on several areas of key concern, including a descriptive evaluation of changes to the social grants system, expected impacts on growth and employment, an examination of government relief measures, and a tool to guide lockdown transition policy.
Book
Few studies exist on job duration in developing labour markets—an important omission both in our understanding of such markets and for the job duration literature, which is mainly based on developed-country case studies, which differ in structural ways. The main reason for this is likely data constraints in developing countries, since job duration...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In microeconomics, people and households are key units of analysis making it important that they sensibly relate to each other in the data with which they are studied. Although most Statistics South Africa household surveys are designed to be simultaneously representative of people and households, weighting practise is to split the calibration of p...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Increased household formation, and its corollary of decreasing household size, is a global demographic trend with important consequences for human and environmental welfare. There are a host of potential demographic, economic, and institutional levers on household formation, many of which vary considerably across the developed and developing world....
Preprint
Full-text available
In the post 1995 period, South Africa's pattern of structural transformation can be described as one undergoing, what Rodrik (2016) terms, premature deindustrialisation. This paper examines South Africa's pattern of structural transformation through the lens of economic complexity. The paper does the following: First, it details the level of eco...
Research
Full-text available
This paper sets out to update the impression of vulnerability in the labour market, by examining how low pay and informality interact with each other, and with poverty. Throughout, we try to include comparative results from within the sub-Saharan Africa and Latin American regions. What becomes clear is that a job alone is not a solution to poverty...
Article
This article reports on a two-year evaluation of the Gauteng Primary Language and Mathematics Strategy (GPLMS), an innovative system-wide reform intervention designed to improve learning outcomes in Gauteng Province, South Africa. Using data from universal testing of all learners in 2008 on a provincial systemic evaluation, as well as data from the...
Research
Full-text available
South Africa is food secure at the national level; however widespread food insecurity persists at the household level. To understand the dynamics of micro-level food insecurity this paper investigates how two different aspects of ‘food access’ – diet quality and diet quantity – affect two outcomes of ‘food utilisation’ – hunger and nutrition. Diet...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
This is my PhD research. The aim of the project is to understand the impact of the trend towards smaller average household size in South Africa on the country's already high levels of poverty and inequality.
Archived project
There are two broad economic trends that provide the basis for this research project: First, while Africa has experienced relatively high levels of economic growth in the 2000s, this has not been driven by manufacturing-led structural transformation (i.e. industrialisation). Second, future demographic trends in the African continent point to growing populations, and thus the need to provide employment for new entrants in the labour force, especially women and youth. This project examines structural transformation through the lens of economic complexity for four African countries - Ghana, Kenya, Senegal and South Africa - and provides micro-level industrial policy options through which these countries can achieve manufacturing-led structural transformation that expands economic opportunities for disenfranchised women and youth. The project also seems to enrich policy discussions and debates beyond traditional economic growth models through exploring the role of the services sector and the potential implications of the so called “fourth industrial revolution.