Fourie&krugell the spatial persistence of south africa

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Johan Fourie has captured the 1911 South African Census electronically and this allows us to have a look at population and literacy at the level of towns and compare it to modern 1996 and 2011 data.

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Fourie&krugell the spatial persistence of south africa

  1. 1. THE SPATIAL PERSISTENCE OF SOUTH AFRICA By Johan Fourie & Waldo Krugell Presentation prepared for the ERSA Economic History Workshop 10: A country of migrants Potchefstroom, 4-5 December 2013
  2. 2. Introduction • Why study geographical economics in South Africa? • It could be part of the bigger debates on the roots of development. • SA has a unique history and spatial distribution of economic activity. • Today local authorities have some responsibility for development of their areas. • The local academic literature is made up of divergent contributions from urban and regional planners, geographers and economists. • In this paper we are interested in the persistence of towns and cities. • We compare place-level data from 1911, 1996 and 2011.
  3. 3. Development has dimensions of density and distance. • The stylized facts show: • Economic production is concentrated. • Living standards diverge before converging. • Agglomeration forces shape the spatial economy. • People migrate to profit from proximity to density. • As transport costs fall, specialisation and trade increases. • Cities facilitate scale economies of all types o Sharing, o Matching, o Learning for urbanisation or localisation economies
  4. 4. Our data • We have data at the level of cities and towns. • From the 1911 census: • Population numbers for whites, other and a total • Numbers of the population that could read and write and those that could only read, for whites, others and a total. • We can match the 1911 towns to the 1996 magisterial districts. • We have 1996 data from Global Insight's Regional Economic Explorer (REX) database. • And population data from the 2011 census, matched to the 1996 boundaries (thanks to David Wilson).
  5. 5. The matching • There are still some issues with the matching to keep in mind. • There are 199 matched places. • But we have 155 more towns in the REX that are not matched to places in the 1911 census. • This because the 1996 magisterial districts are more disaggregated. • For example, the census has Zoutpansberg as one region, but by 1996 this big region is made up of a number of magisterial districts. • It would be relatively easy to aggregate the 1996 magisterial district data up to the 1911 census regions. • Breaking down the 1911 census regions to the 1996 magisterial districts would be much more complicated.
  6. 6. Population compared 1911 2011
  7. 7. The rank-size rule • Using the population data one can estimate the rank-size rule. • The Rank-Size distribution of cities throughout the world follows a law that states that the number of cities with a population larger than S is approximately proportional to S-q (Gabaix, 1999). • If q is equal to zero, all places have the same size. • If q is equal to or close to 1 it is also known as “Zipf’s Law”. 1911 2011 ln(S) = 13.318 – 0.738 ln(N) ln(S) = 16.079 – 1.155 ln(N) se=0.02 se=0.02 R2 = 0.879 R2 = 0.805
  8. 8. The rank-size rule 1911 2011
  9. 9. The rank size rule • Thus, in 1911 South Africa's towns were too small and even in size. • They were likely to offer urbanisation economies rather than localisation economies. • Population growth, migration, industrialisation lead to an increase in q as agglomerations (PTA, JHB, PE, DBN, CTN, BFN) grew. • This is similar to the result that Brakman et al. (1999) found for the Netherlands over the years 1600, 1900 and 1990.
  10. 10. Was there cumulative causation? Top 20 biggest growth in share of the population Inanda Bloemfontein Port Elizabeth East London Pretoria Hlabisa Pietermaritzburg Mtunzini Durban Camperdown Rustenburg Uitenhage Pinetown Nqutu Lower Umfolozi George Mmabatho Umtata Newcastle Gordonia
  11. 11. Is there anything interesting in the literacy data? Top 20 places literacy rates All places Simonstown Maximum Mean Std. Deviation Total read & write literacy rate 1911 63.45 26.0166 16.11944 Read & write literacy rate, males 1911 36.73 13.5130 8.52490 Read & write literacy rate, females 1911 29.69 12.5036 7.78567 Read & write literacy rate, Whites 1911 46.10 19.1985 14.57181 Read & write literacy rate, Other 1911 23.41 6.8181 4.91797 63.45 Cape Port Elizabeth Bredasdorp Caledon Ladismith Piquetberg Mossel Bay Riversdale Swellendam Pietermaritzburg Robertson Johannesburg Stellenbosch Laingsburg Carnarvon Paarl Fraserburg Durban Sutherland 57.74 57.16 57.02 55.79 51.88 51.19 50.49 50.24 49.7 48.85 48.47 48.23 47.88 47.69 46.5 46.36 46.17 46.1 45.98
  12. 12. Literacy for the "Other" grouping Top 20 places literacy for "Other" Victoria East Nqamakwe Xalanga Tsomo Port Elizabeth Butterworth Thaba'Nechu Cape Kimberley Tulbagh Stellenbosch Simonstown Fort Beaufort Stutterheim Bredasdorp Namaqualand Peddie Paarl Caledon Queenstown 23.41 22.67 21.32 20.91 19.98 18.62 18.36 18.34 18.23 17.45 17.36 17.34 17.34 17.32 16.34 15.12 15.1 15.05 14.94 14.92
  13. 13. Some correlations Total read Other read Total & write & write Total population in literacy literacy population 1911 rate 1911 rate 1911 1996 Total population in 1911 Total read & write literacy rate 1911 Other read & write literacy rate 1911 Total population 1996 HDI 1996 Gini coefficient 1996 Annual per capita income in 1996 HDI 1996 Annual per Gini capita coefficient income in 1996 1996 1 -0.129 1 0.034 .452** 1 .476** -0.0982 0.081 1 .383** .615** .396** .347** 1 -.245** -0.060 -.298** -.382** -.359** 1 .485** .503** .252** .381** .896** -.285** 1
  14. 14. The way forward • We need to capture more of the 1911 census data. • We need to improve the match with the 1996 district council boundaries and extend it to 2011 municipal boundaries. • We need to have a closer look at the history literature to see what questions we can answer.

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