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Secondary and Tertiary Education Attainment and Income Levels for Maori and Non-Maori Over Time


  • Sholeh A Maani


This study examines how relative income levels, and in particular the income returns to post-compulsory and higher education (education beyond age 16) for Maori compare to Non- Maori, and how they have changed over the 1986-1996 decade. The analysis focussing on the Maori population extends earlier research for the overall New Zealand population (Maani, 1994, 1996a, 1996b, 1997, 1999). The study utilises individual level data and 20% samples of the 1986 and 1996 Censuses of the Population. Statistical sample characteristics, restricted and unrestricted 'earnings function' estimates across ethnicity, and stability tests over time indicate that the Maori population was at a disadvantage in both 1986 and 1996 in terms of educational attainment, employment and income levels. While the returns to post-compulsory education were significant compared to no qualifications, the participation of Maori in post-compulsory education after a decade is still significantly less than the Non-Maori group, as more than 60% of Maori males and females in 1996 still had no school qualifications. The returns to education are greater for Maori compared to Non-Maori, despite lower attainment levels. This is primarily since Maori with no qualifications are relatively more disadvantaged with respect to Non-Maori than are Maori with qualifications. Given the link between educational attainment and income levels, the study shows that in 1996 Maori with 'no school qualification' were at a greater relative disadvantage than they were in 1986, with the income gap having narrowed at the tertiary education level, in particular for women.

Suggested Citation

  • Sholeh A Maani, 2000. "Secondary and Tertiary Education Attainment and Income Levels for Maori and Non-Maori Over Time," Treasury Working Paper Series 00/18, New Zealand Treasury.
  • Handle: RePEc:nzt:nztwps:00/18

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    Cited by:

    1. David C. Maré & Isabelle Sin, 2004. "Maori Incomes: Investigating Differences Between Iwi," Working Papers 04_06, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    2. Gail Pacheco, 2012. "The cost of poor transitions for youth," Working Papers 2012-09, Auckland University of Technology, Department of Economics.
    3. Crawford, Ron, 2009. "Variations in earnings growth: evidence from earnings transitions in the NZ Linked Income Survey," ISER Working Paper Series 2009-18, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    4. David C. Maré, 2003. "Ideas for Growth?," Working Papers 03_19, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    5. Sylvia Dixon & David Maré, 2007. "Understanding changes in Māori incomes and income inequality 1997–2003," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 20(3), pages 571-598, July.
    6. Gail Pacheco & Jessica Dye, 2013. "Estimating the Cost of Youth Disengagement in New Zealand," Working Papers 2013-04, Auckland University of Technology, Department of Economics.

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