Dr Justin Visagie is a research specialist at the Human Sciences Research Council in the Economic Performance and Development Research (EPD) department. He was previously director of Economic Planning, Policy and Research at the Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism in the Eastern Cape. He completed his PhD at the University of KwaZulu-Natal where he won the prestigious Founders’ medal from the Economic Society of South Africa for his thesis on the development of the middle class in South Africa. He also received the Founders’ medal for his Masters and Honours research which explored the measurement of poverty and inequality in South Africa. His broad research interests are in development and urban economics and his recent research outputs cover issues of spatial inequality, social mobility, rural-urban migration and the sustainable upgrading of informal settlements. Dr Visagie has expertise in applied microeconomic analysis and has worked on a wide-array of cross-sectional and longitudinal household datasets.