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The school day in South Africa

  • Martin Wittenberg


    (School of Economics, University of Cape Town)

We investigate the time allocation decisions by South African learners using the South African Time Use Survey. We show that punctuality appears to be a problem with around 20% of all learners seeming to arrive late. Punctuality and absenteeism seem to be problems disproportionately among poor learners. Overall time devoted to schooling and homework does not show a consistent income gradient. Poor learners, however, spend considerable time each day on chores. The distribution of this additional work falls disproportionately on girls. Some of the findings can be easily explained in terms of a simple human capital production framework, but some of the social constraints seem to require a broader framework in which choices by some individuals create externalities for others.

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Paper provided by Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town in its series SALDRU/CSSR Working Papers with number 113.

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Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ldr:cssrwp:113
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  1. Anne Case & Angus Deaton, 1999. "School Inputs and Educational Outcomes in South Africa," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 1047-1084.
  2. Martin Wittenberg, 2002. "Job Search In South Africa: A Nonparametric Analysis," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 70(8), pages 1163-1196, December.
  3. Edward L. Glaeser & Albert Saiz, 2003. "The rise of the skilled city," Working Papers 04-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  4. Jeff E. Biddle & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1989. "Sleep and the Allocation of Time," NBER Working Papers 2988, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Juster, F Thomas & Stafford, Frank P, 1991. "The Allocation of Time: Empirical Findings, Behavioral Models, and Problems of Measurement," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(2), pages 471-522, June.
  6. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
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