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    Estimates of Employment in South Africa Under the Five-Level Lockdown Framework SCIS Working
    (2020-05) Francis, David; Ramburuth-Hurt, Kamal; Valodia, Imraan
    During the COVID-19 pandemic and response, an important question, from both a health and economic policy perspective, is how many workers are able to return to work as the lockdown is eased and tightened in response to the spread of the virus. Using a static analysis derived from industry subsectors, we estimate employment allowed under each level of the five-level lockdown framework. We estimate that under level five of the lockdown framework, 40% of total employment is permitted, or 6.6 million workers. This rises to 55% (9.2 million) under level four; 71% (11.8 million) under level three; 94% (15.6 million) under level two and 100% under level one. This is a static analysis and assumes that no jobs are lost as a result of a lockdown. As such, its principle use is as a distributional analysis of the share of workers permitted to work under each level of the lockdown.
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    Firm Wage Premia, Rent-Sharing and Monopsony When Underemployment is High
    (2021-02) Bassier, Ihsaan
    How important are firms in the labour markets of developing countries? Using matched employer-employee data from South Africa, I find firms explain a larger share of wages than in other, richer countries. I show this can be parsimoniously explained by the high degree of underemployment. Estimating separations elasticities by instrumenting wages of matched workers with firm wages, among other methods, I find a low separations elasticity which generates a high degree of monopsony. The correspondingly high estimated rent-sharing elasticity explains the important role of firm wage policies, even in an economy with a large labour surplus. This paper is a work in progress.