The IEJ is a Progressive Economics
Think Tank based in South Africa.

We provide rigorous economic analysis designed to arm policy-makers and the public with progressive policy options to combat the scourge of poverty, underdevelopment, and inequality in South Africa, the region and the continent.

Latest From IEJ

Videos and Infographics

REFA Festival 2020

Rethinking Economics for Africa (REFA) organises an annual event called the REFA Festival. This year, the REFA Festival’s theme was “practical action towards a pluralist economics curriculum”. The Festival has also come at a...


In The Media

SPOTLIGHT SERIES | Carilee Osborne

May 19, 2021

Welcome to episode 6 of the SPOTLIGHT series. This week we are joined by Carilee Osborne, a researcher with the Institute for Economic Justice. Together we discuss South Africa's social and economic needs....

Under The Microscope | Neil Coleman

April 5, 2021

The most expansive child and family grants are in Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Argentina and South Africa, which has put in place the biggest social provision net in Africa. To speak more on this and other issues regarding social grants we...

IEJ offers plan to fund income grant

April 1, 2021

The Institute for Economic Justice (IEJ) has put forward radical proposals to fund the mooted basic income grant, including a hike in dividend tax, and is calling for all unemployed adults between the ages of 18-59 to be paid R585 a month....

About IEJ

The IEJ’s core objective is to provide policymakers and progressive social forces in South Africa with access to rigorous economic analysis, and well thought through policy options, as a basis for advancing systemic change.

By acting as a research and policy hub, the IEJ builds links between the research community and the labour movement, progressive civil society and activist organisations, and elements within the state and business. Our research agenda is developed in an ongoing collaboration with these social partners, and the project outputs are made accessible and appropriate for policy work. In South Africa, such an organic relationship between an economics research institute and organisations with a mass constituency is unique.

There are opportunities for intersectionality with economics and human rights. In a peer-reviewed journal article by @GiladIsaacs & @AllisonCorkery, the co-authors interrogate some of the tools available to achieve this goal:

#Economics #HumanRights

“Income support for millions of destitute people has been cut off, leaving them to face a Covid-19 third wave without any means to afford food and other basic necessities” – @black_sash, #PayTheGrants, @IEJ_SA & @SPII1 on the termination of the grant.

Challenging both the economics & human rights disciplines is critical to build knowledge between the two disciplines. Our report shares lessons on how we can build a economics & human rights field 👇

Graphic Recording by Sonaksha Iyengar @sonakshaiyengar

Human rights & economic justice activists share a common goal: making the economy work better for people and planet. But usually their work barely overlaps. What could we gain if we brought these groups together? We explored this question with @IEJ_SA and @SECTION27news ⬇️⬇️⬇️

How do we bring the economics and human rights communities together?

There is clearly a need for mutual learning between the two communities, to encourage systematic transfer of knowledge across the disciplinary divide. Our report outlines some lessons:

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Our projects aim to advance social justice, promote equitable economic development that realises socio-economic rights, and ensure a thriving, democratic, environmentally sustainable, and inclusive economy that places the needs of the majority at the centre.


The COVID-19 pandemic has delivered a massive blow to the global economy and is plunging South Africa’s economy deeper into recession.

Budget Justice, Tax Justice and Alternatives to Austerity

 Contributing to an anti-austerity politics and just tax system, in South Africa and the continent.

Challenging Economic Orthodoxies in Africa

Contributing to a vision and concrete proposals for inclusive economies on the continent.

Climate Justice

Transforming our economy to address the climate emergency while ensuring a just transition which protects workers and communities.

Decent Minimum Wages in South Africa and the Region

Working towards fair, just and liveable wages in South Africa and across the continent.

Economics and Human Rights

Advocating for a human rights based approach for a just economy which serves the interests of the general public.

Feminist Economics

Training economists in the subdiscipline of feminist economics.

Finance for Development

Exploring the role and limits of private sector involvement in meeting infrastructural needs in South Africa and Africa and the role of state-owned enterprises.

Macroeconomic Policy for Development and Employment

Research supporting the labour movement to table macroeconomic policy alternatives, and research for the ILO on pro-employment macroeconomic policies in Africa.

Rethinking Economics

Supporting a movement for a more relevant and inclusive economics discourse; promoting curriculum reform; promoting economic literacy and engagement with alternatives.