The unintended consequences of education policies on South African participation and unemployment
AbstractIn the late 1990s the South African Department of Education implemented two policies that were meant to reduce the large number of over-age learners in the school system: schools were no longer allowed to accept students who were more than two years older than the correct grade-age and students could not be held back more than once in each of four schooling phases. Our analysis uses school administrative data and household survey data to show that these policies coincided with a decrease in school enrolment of at least 400,000 and possibly as many as 900,000 learners. This effect was most noticeable for over-aged learners who remained in school due to their poor labour market prospects. Most of these students seem to have been pushed into the labour market by these policies, which could explain much of the sudden increase in labour force participation and unemployment over this period. However, since these individuals would probably have entered the labour market sooner if not for their poor employment prospects, we argue that the increase in unemployment signifies a more accurate reflection of disguised unemployment that already existed in the mid-1990s rather than a deterioration of labour market conditions.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Economic Research Southern Africa in its series Working Papers with number 289.
Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
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Other versions of this item:
- Rulof Burger & Servaas van der Berg & Dieter von Fintel, 2012. "The unintended consequences of education policies on South African participation and unemployment," Working Papers 11/2012, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
- Burger, Rulof & van der Berg, Servaas & Von Fintel, Dieter, 2013. "The Unintended Consequences of Education Policies on South African Participation and Unemployment," IZA Discussion Papers 7450, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
- I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
- J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AFR-2012-06-25 (Africa)
- NEP-ALL-2012-06-25 (All new papers)
- NEP-EDU-2012-06-25 (Education)
- NEP-LAB-2012-06-25 (Labour Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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