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Primary Schooling, Cognitive Skills and Wages in South Africa

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  • Moll, Peter G
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    Abstract

    Using a fairly rich data set from South Africa, the paper finds that, despite the sobriquet 'gutter education,' the African schooling systems help to create cognitive skills, and these skills are a determinant of wage levels. Various robust estimators are used but the influential outlier problem does not turn out to be serious. Computational skills appear to be more important than comprehension skills in influencing wages. The African primary schooling system was an extremely poor generator of computational skill, the seven-year course raising the computational test score by 13 percent, if that. A policy implication is that productivity could be raised by certain near-costless reallocations of resources in favor of mathematical learning. Copyright 1998 by The London School of Economics and Political Science

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by London School of Economics and Political Science in its journal Economica.

    Volume (Year): 65 (1998)
    Issue (Month): 258 (May)
    Pages: 263-84

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:65:y:1998:i:258:p:263-84

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    Cited by:
    1. Undurraga, Eduardo A. & Behrman, Jere R. & Grigorenko, Elena L. & Schultz, Alan & Yiu, Julie & TAPS Bolivia Study Team, & Godoy, Ricardo A., 2013. "Math skills and market and non-market outcomes: Evidence from an Amazonian society of forager-farmers," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 138-147.
    2. David E. Bloom & David Canning & Erica Seigner, 2011. "The Effect of Vaccination on Children's Physical and Cognitive Development in the Philippines," PGDA Working Papers 6911, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
    3. Malcolm Keswell & Laura Poswell, 2004. "Returns To Education In South Africa: A Retrospective Sensitivity Analysis Of The Available Evidence," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 72(4), pages 834-860, 09.
    4. Drusilla K. Brown & Alan V. Deardorff & Robert M Stern, 2002. "The Effects of Multinational Production on Wages and Working Conditions in Developing Countries," Working Papers 483, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
    5. Dickerson, Andy & McIntosh, Steven & Valente, Christine, 2013. "Do the Maths: An Analysis of the Gender Gap in Mathematics in Africa," IZA Discussion Papers 7174, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Eric Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2008. "The Role of Cognitive Skills in Economic Development," Discussion Papers 07-034, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    7. Azam, Jean-Paul & Rospabé, Sandrine, 2005. "Trade Unions v. Statistical Discrimination: Theory and Application to Post-Apartheid South Africa," IDEI Working Papers 348, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    8. Luis Fernando Gamboa & Mauricio Rodríguez-Acosta & Andrés Felipe García-Suaza, 2010. "Academic achievement in sciences: the role of preferences and educative assets," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 006701, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
    9. Niels-Hugo Blunch & Claus C Pörtner, 2005. "Literacy, Skills and Welfare: Effects of Participation in Adult Literacy Programs," Working Papers UWEC-2005-23-FC, University of Washington, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2009.
    10. Victoria Gunnarsson & Peter F. Orazem & Mario A. Sánchez, 2006. "Child Labor and School Achievement in Latin America," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 20(1), pages 31-54.
    11. Cunningham, Wendy & Villasenor, Paula, 2014. "Employer voices, employer demands, and implications for public skills development policy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6853, The World Bank.
    12. Yang Song, 2012. "Poverty Reduction in China: The Contribution of Popularizing Primary Education," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 20(1), pages 105-122, 01.
    13. Eric A. Hanushek & Victor Lavy & Kohtaro Hitomi, 2006. "Do Students Care about School Quality? Determinants of Dropout Behavior in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 12737, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Andy Dickerson & Steven McIntosh & Christine Valente, . "Do The Maths: An Analysis Of The Gender Gap In Mathematics In AfricaAbstract: This paper uses microdata for 19 African countries to examine the gender difference in maths test scores amongst primary s," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 13/300, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.

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