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Research Program in Development Studies

South Africa: Poverty, Inequality, and Health

We are currently running integrated health and economic surveys in South Africa to investigate the links between health status and economic status. Our survey instruments collect data on a range of traditional and non-traditional measures of well-being including income and consumption, measures of health status (including mental health), morbidity, crime, social connectedness, intrahousehold relationships, and direct hedonic measures of well-being. The surveys draw on recent work in economics, health, psychology, and anthropology to explore different kinds of welfare measures and the relationships between them. From 2002 through 2005, we collected data in Limpopo Province, at the Agincourt Demographic Surveillance Site, and in Khayelitsha, a township outside of Cape Town, through the auspices of Philani Nutrition and Development Project. In 2006, we collected a fourth wave of data for the Cape Area Panel Study (CAPS), with researchers from the University of Cape Town and the University of Michigan. Our work was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

See photos of the Agincourt field site and Khayelitsha field site. Get to know the South Africa research team. View questionnaires being used for this project.