Language and Labour in South Africa. A New Approach for a New South Africa
This paper considers the role of language in labour earnings in South Africa over the period 1996 to 1998. Our pooled cross-section comprises of over 180,000 working age adults, and the analysis considers the decision to participate in the labour force, employment prospects and labour earnings. Models include variables for individual mother tongue in addition to race. After conditioning on a number of socio-economic and demographic factors, we find the English language to be one of the pivotal determinants of labour earnings. These results are robust across two models of sample selection. Such findings shed light on the economic consequences of South Africaâ€™s national policy of linguistic heterogeneity.
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