n Studies in Economics and Econometrics - "Adding insult to injury" : poverty and injury in South Africa

Volume 28, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0379-6205


Poverty stands to increase the risk of exposure to injury. This paper explores the relationship between poverty and injury in South Africa, using data from the 1998 South African Demographic and Health Survey. Differences in socio-economic status are quantified with the aid of the asset index. The concentration index is employed as measure of inequality. Persons from more affluent households are more likely to have suffered sports injuries or other unintentional injuries. Poorer South Africans in turn are more likely to have suffered intentional injuries and in particular injuries resulting from assaults and traffic collisions. Therefore, a reduction in poverty, other things being equal, can result in a decline in injury rates. In this sense, campaigns for poverty alleviation can play an important role in mitigating the burden of injury on the society and the economy.

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