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Changes in education, employment and earnings in South Africa – A cohort analysis

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Author Info

  • Nicola Branson

    ()
    (SALDRU, School of Economics, University of Cape Town)

  • Cally Ardington

    ()
    (SALDRU, School of Economics, University of Cape TownAuthor-Email:)

  • David Lam

    ()
    (University of Michigan)

  • Murray Leibbrandt

    ()
    (SALDRU, School of Economics, University of Cape Town)

Abstract

Rapid increases in educational attainment and the massification of secondary education in South Africa resulted in substantial differences in the supply and quality of educated workers across generations. This paper describes changes in the distribution of education across birth cohorts and how these relate to changes in the probability of employment, the distribution of earnings and the earnings premiums to complete secondary and tertiary education. Tracking cohorts over time allows us to disentangle generational and life-cycle components of these changes. Younger cohorts are shown to have increasingly faced worse labour market conditions than their predecessors, although this may be changing for cohorts born after 1980. Furthermore, the relative reward to complete secondary and tertiary education has remained positive, and increased for tertiary educated cohorts born since the 1960s. Increases in earnings inequality among those with complete secondary education suggests increased variance in education quality during the period when completed secondary education expanded rapidly.

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File URL: http://www.opensaldru.uct.ac.za/bitstream/handle/11090/621/2013_105.pdf?sequence=1
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town in its series SALDRU Working Papers with number 105.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ldr:wpaper:105

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Keywords: Educational attainment; Earnings; Employment; South Africa; Cohort analysis;

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  1. Nicholas Spaull, 2012. "Poverty & Privilege: Primary School Inequality in South Africa," Working Papers 13/2012, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
  2. Haroon Bhorat, 2004. "Labour Market Challenges In The Post-Apartheid South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 72(5), pages 940-977, December.
  3. Martins, Pedro S. & Pereira, Pedro T., 2004. "Does education reduce wage inequality? Quantile regression evidence from 16 countries," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 355-371, June.
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