Inclusive Dualism: Labour-Intensive Development, Decent Work, and Surplus Labour in Southern Africa

In their latest book, published July 2019 by Oxford University Press, Professors Nicoli Nattrass and Jeremy Seekings return to the work of W. Arthur Lewis, the founding father of development economics. Lewis proposed a dualist model of economic development in which ‘surplus’ (predominantly underemployed) labour shifted from lower to higher productivity work. In practice, historically, this meant that labour was initially drawn out of subsistence agriculture into low-wage, labour-intensive manufacturing, including in clothing production, before shifting into higher-wage work.

While this development strategy has become unfashionable in the twenty-first century, the authors challenge the prevailing development wisdom about productivity growth and upgrading. Using South Africa as a case study to explore broader patterns of job destruction, highlighting the importance of ideology, trade-union strategy, and the political-economy of policy-making, Inclusive Dualism makes the case that labour-intensive growth remains relevant and is essential for inclusive development in surplus labour countries, especially in South and Southern Africa.

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 -
12:50 to 14:00

Centre for Social Science Research Seminar room, room 4.29, Leslie Social Science Building, Upper Campus

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