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Welcome to the home page of the School of Economics at the University of Cape Town.

The School of Economics is one of the largest departments in the University, offering tuition to more than 3000 undergraduate students and approximately 150 postgraduate students. The department consists of over 30 staff members who cover a broad range of disciplines in economics in their teaching and research. In addition, the School has a strong research focus and hosts several active research units.

This site provides access to a range of information regarding study, research and student life in the School of Economics at the University of Cape Town. Read more ...

Latest News

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SALDRU: Rebooted and on a mission
23 March, 2018

The Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU), one of UCT’s oldest and most respected research units, has a new mission statement and logo. Recently launched, the logo reflects the recommitment of the unit and its many projects, a formidable cohort of researchers working in the fields of poverty, inequality and the labour market.

Cartoonist Tony Grogan’s iconic miner-at-the-rock-face logo, symbolising SALDRU’s initial focus on migrant and farm labour issues in the apartheid era, has been replaced by a symbol that is more reflective of the unit’s expansion and diversity.

Their revised mission, “Challenging inequalities through policy-relevant academic research”, was inspired by the unit’s changing external context, says director Professor Murray Leibbrandt, the pro-vice-chancellor of UCT’s Poverty and Inequality Initiative.

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The real state of the nation: study the data
10 March, 2018

To honour Nelson Mandela’s legacy of a better life for all, President Cyril Ramaphosa will need to look at hard data on the state of the nation, Samantha Richmond wrote in Business Day recently. Richmond is senior operations manager at the National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS), implemented by UCT’s Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU).

All eyes are on President Cyril Ramaphosa to see if he can deliver on the promises made in his inaugural State of the Nation Address (SONA) last month. After months of political uncertainty, the ship – as Trevor Manual put it after the address – finally appears to have a captain at its helm. For the first time in 10 years, there is hope that South Africa may now be able to go somewhere.

Since Ramaphosa’s narrow victory at the ANC's elective conference at Nasrec in December, the new leadership of the ruling party has hinted at adopting new policies that are noticeably more radical. The SONA took this further, outlining several bold new approaches and affirming the government’s commitment to “radical economic transformation”.

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Researching affirmative action at UCT
06 March, 2018

A study by researchers from the University of Cape Town on the hotly debated issue of affirmative action has shown that the university’s policies have a substantial impact on the racial distribution of who is offered a place at the university.

The paper, titled “Estimating the size and impact of affirmative action in undergraduate admissions at the University of Cape Town”, was recently published in the South African Journal of Economics.

Lead researcher Andrew Kerr from DataFirst in the Faculty of Commerce; Patrizio Piraino, associate professor at UCT’s School of Economics; and Vimal Ranchhod, the deputy director of the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU) looked into various sources of data to estimate the extent and targeting of affirmative action at UCT.

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