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Is South Africa’s social expenditure pattern sustainable?

Despite South Africa’s notable accomplishments in the last 20 years of democracy, a number of significant challenges remain. Notably, the unemployment rate stood at 25.5 percent in the second quarter of 2014, over 13 million children are reported to be living in households that are below the poverty line, and 32% of all children live in households where no adult is employed. In principle, the roll out of social programmes is indeed a necessary and noble expense, especially given SA’s history.

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Can behavioural economics help us understand and fight poverty?

Much of economic theory rests on the assumption that people generally make good, rational, choices that maximise their own well-being given their particular circumstances. In many settings, however people make irrational “mistakes” that are frequent, predictable and persistent

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