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Bumpy Rides: School to Work Transitions in South Africa

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  • Pugatch, Todd

    ()
    (Oregon State University)

Abstract

Re-enrollment in school following a period of dropout is a common feature of the South African school to work transition that has been largely ignored in both the literature on South Africa and the wider literature on sequential schooling choice. In this paper, I quantify the importance of the option to re-enroll in the school to work transition of South African youth. I estimate a structural model of schooling choice in South Africa using a panel dataset that contains the entire schooling and labor market histories of sampled youth. Estimates of the model's structural parameters confirm the hypothesis that enrollment choices reflect dynamic updating of the relative returns to schooling versus labor market participation. In a policy simulation under which re-enrollment prior to high school completion is completely restricted, the proportion completing at least 12 years of schooling rises 6 percentage points, as youth who would have dropped out under unrestricted re-enrollment reconsider the long-term consequences of doing so. The results suggest that the option to re-enroll is an important component of the incentives South African youth face when making schooling decisions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6305.

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Length: 53 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6305

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Related research

Keywords: human capital investment; labor supply; youth unemployment; dynamic discrete choice; South Africa;

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References

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  1. James J. Heckman & Paul A. LaFontaine & Pedro L. Rodriguez, 2008. "Taking the Easy Way Out: How the GED Testing Program Induces Students to Drop Out," Working Papers 200829, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  2. Edmonds, Eric V., 2006. "Child labor and schooling responses to anticipated income in South Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 386-414, December.
  3. Arcidiacono, Peter, 2004. "Ability sorting and the returns to college major," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 343-375.
  4. James A. Levinsohn & Todd Pugatch, 2011. "Prospective Analysis of a Wage Subsidy for Cape Town Youth," NBER Working Papers 17248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. David Lam & Cally Ardington & Murray Leibbrandt, 2007. "Schooling as a Lottery: Racial Differences in School Advancement in Urban South Africa," SALDRU Working Papers 18, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  6. Christian Belzil & J�rgen Hansen, 2002. "Unobserved Ability and the Return to Schooling," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 2075-2091, September.
  7. James J. Heckman & Salvador Navarro, 2005. "Dynamic Discrete Choice and Dynamic Treatment Effects," NBER Technical Working Papers 0316, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Yamauchi, Futoshi, 2005. "Race, equity, and public schools in post-Apartheid South Africa: Equal opportunity for all kids," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 213-233, April.
  9. Abhijit Banerjee & Sebastian Galiani & Jim Levinsohn & Zo� McLaren & Ingrid Woolard, 2008. "Why has unemployment risen in the New South Africa?," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 16(4), pages 715-740, October.
  10. David Lam & Murray Leibbrandt & Cecil Mlatsheni, 2008. "Education and Youth Unemployment in South Africa," SALDRU Working Papers 22, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
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Cited by:
  1. Pugatch, Todd, 2012. "Safety Valve or Sinkhole? Vocational Schooling in South Africa," IZA Discussion Papers 7015, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Levinsohn, James & Pugatch, Todd, 2014. "Prospective analysis of a wage subsidy for Cape Town youth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 169-183.
  3. James A. Levinsohn & Todd Pugatch, 2011. "Prospective Analysis of a Wage Subsidy for Cape Town Youth," NBER Working Papers 17248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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