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Education and Socio-Economic Differentials: A Study of School Performance in the Western Cape

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  • Ronelle Burger
  • Servaas van der Berg

    ()
    (University of Stellenbosch)

Abstract

Not surprisingly, the education system is widely perceived to be the major tool to overcome human capital and labour market inequalities in South Africa. This paper asks how well the education system accomplishes this goal. The first part of the paper examines human capital differentials between races and provides evidence of persistent race-based educational attainment and quality differentials. It is argued that quality differentials in education may be much larger and more enduring than attainment differentials. The second part of the paper asks whether the deficiency lies in inadequate resource availability in schools of the poor or whether it rather stems from inefficiencies in parts of the school system. The paper uses national and Western Cape matriculation results and resource allocation data to examine this question and find that residuals are higher in predominantly black and coloured schools and there is no significant correlation between performance and resource allocation in this group of schools.

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File Function: First version, 2003
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit in its series Working Papers with number 03073.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Working Paper Series by the Development Policy Research Unit, March 2003, pages 1-23
Handle: RePEc:ctw:wpaper:03073

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Keywords: South Africa: education system; human capital; labour market inequalities;

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References

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  1. Lee, Jong-Wha & Barro, Robert J, 2001. "Schooling Quality in a Cross-Section of Countries," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(272), pages 465-88, November.
  2. Hanushek, Eric A., 2002. "Publicly provided education," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 30, pages 2045-2141 Elsevier.
  3. Mwabu, Germano & Schultz, T Paul, 1996. "Education Returns across Quantiles of the Wage Function: Alternative Explanations for Returns to Education by Race in South Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 335-39, May.
  4. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1990. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," NBER Working Papers 3358, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Servaas van der Berg & Louise Wood & Neil le Roux, 2002. "Differentiation in black education," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(2), pages 289-306.
  6. Anne Case & Angus Deaton, 1999. "School Inputs And Educational Outcomes In South Africa," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 1047-1084, August.
  7. Alan Krueger, 1997. "Experimental Estimates of Education Production Functions," Working Papers 758, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  8. Anne Case & Motohiro Yogo, 1999. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Schools in South Africa," NBER Working Papers 7399, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Julian F. Hofmeyr & Robert E. B. Lucas, 1998. "The Rise in Union Wage Premia in South Africa," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 83, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  10. Pritchett, Lant, 1996. "Where has all the education gone?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1581, The World Bank.
  11. Eric A. Hanushek, 1996. "Measuring Investment in Education," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 9-30, Fall.
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Cited by:
  1. Frederick C.v.N. Fourie, 2011. "The South African unemployment debate: three worlds, three discourses?," SALDRU Working Papers 63, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  2. Martin Gustafsson & Firoz Patel, 2009. "Managing the teacher pay system: What the local and international data are telling us," Working Papers 26/2009, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
  3. Nic Spaull, 2011. "A Preliminary Analysis of SACMEQ III South Africa," Working Papers 11/2011, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
  4. Debra Shepherd, 2013. "A question of efficiency: decomposing South African reading test scores using PIRLS 2006," Working Papers 20/2013, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
  5. Martin Gustafsson, 2007. "Using The Hierarchical Linear Model To Understand School Production In South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 75(1), pages 84-98, 03.
  6. Thomas Laurent & Fabrice Murtin & Geoff Barnard & Dean Janse van Rensburg & Vijay Reddy & George Frempong & Lolita Winnaar, 2013. "Policy Determinants of School Outcomes Under Model Uncertainty: Evidence from South Africa," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1057, OECD Publishing.
  7. Debra L. Shepherd, 2011. "Constraints to school effectiveness: what prevents poor schools from delivering results?," Working Papers 05/2011, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.

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