Original Research

Changes in the structure of earnings of informal street traders

Chris W. Callaghan
Acta Commercii | Vol 14, No 1 | a193 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v14i1.193 | © 2014 Chris W. Callaghan | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 March 2013 | Published: 19 May 2014

About the author(s)

Chris W. Callaghan, School of Economic and Business Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa


Purpose/objective: The purpose of this research is to investigate the influence of the 2008 xenophobic events on the structure of earnings of street traders in inner-city Johannesburg and to provide recommendations to policymakers.

Problem investigated: The xenophobic events of 2008 are well documented, but absent from the literature is the potential influence on the earnings of foreign street traders. This study investigates this influence through analysis of data from before and after the events.

Design and methodology: The study applies an exploratory cross-sectional research design using data from three different samples. Mann-Whitney and Chi-squared measures are applied together with exploratory multiple linear regression analysis to generate insight into the relationships between earnings and differences by origin.

Findings and implications: In 2009 the earnings structure of the sector changed. In 2008 and 2010, the earnings of foreign traders are higher, whereas in 2009 these traders earned less than local traders. It is argued that the xenophobic events might have resulted in a temporary restructuring of earnings.

Originality or value of the research: This study makes a contribution through exploratory findings that document a change in the structure of earnings of foreign street traders.

Conclusion: A change in the structure of earnings of foreign street traders occurred after the xenophobic events of 2008. Although association cannot ascribe causality, it is argued that this change may be related to these events.


Informal sector; xenophobia; development


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Crossref Citations

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