Gender Analysis of the Policy Responses to High Oil Prices: A Case Study of South Africa
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The 2007-8 surge in oil prices has created concern about its impacts on poor and vulnerable populations in developing countries. Government management of the energy crisis was shown to be important in reducing adverse impacts. This study uses an applied general equilibrium framework to examine alternative policy and external shocks with the recent surge in oil prices in South Africa through a gender lens. Simulation results show that although the 2007-8 energy crisis contributed to slowing down South African gross domestic product (GDP) growth and reducing employment and earnings, the distributional impact between men and women has been neutral. This neutrality is driven by an increase in capital inflows, which has mitigated the exchange rate depreciation owing to the oil price hike. Without an increase in capital inflows, the crisis would have significantly depreciated the exchange rate and contributed to decreasing women's market opportunities and increasing women's workload as compared to men.
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