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Policy Determinants of School Outcomes Under Model Uncertainty: Evidence from South Africa

Author

Listed:
  • Thomas Laurent

    (Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques)

  • Fabrice Murtin

    (OECD)

  • Geoff Barnard

    (OECD)

  • Dean Janse van Rensburg

    (Human Sciences Research Council)

  • Vijay Reddy

    (Human Sciences Research Council)

  • George Frempong

    (Human Sciences Research Council)

  • Lolita Winnaar

    (Human Sciences Research Council)

Abstract

In this paper we assess the determinants of secondary school outcomes in South Africa. We use Bayesian Averaging Model techniques to account for uncertainty in the set of underlying factors that are chosen among a very large pool of explanatory variables in order to minimize the risk of omitted variable bias. Our analysis indicates that the socioeconomic background of pupils, demographic characteristics such as population groups (Black and White) as well as geographical locations account for a significant variation in pupils’ achievement levels. We also find that the most robust policy determinants of pupils’ test scores are the availability of a library at school, the use of IT in the classroom as well as school climate. This Working Paper relates to the 2013 OECD Economic Survey of South Africa (http://www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/southafrica2013.htm). Les politiques d'éducation face à l'incertitude de la modélisation : l'Afrique du Sud à l'étude Cette étude estime les déterminants des résultats scolaires en Afrique du Sud. Des techniques Bayésiennes de sélection de modèle sont utilisées pour traiter l’incertitude dans le choix des variables explicatives, lesquelles sont tirées d’un ensemble très large de variables candidates aidant à minimiser le biais d’omission. Les résultats indiquent que le profil socio-économique des élèves, les caractéristiques démographiques telles que l’appartenance ethnique ou la localisation géographique expliquent une partie importante des différences de performance scolaire entre élèves. Les politiques éducatives corrélées aux résultats scolaires sont la disponibilité de bibliothèques à l’école, l’utilisation des technologies de l’information en classe ainsi que la discipline à l’école. Ce Document de travail se rapporte à l'Étude économique de l’Afrique du Sud, 2013, (http://www.oecd.org/fr/eco/etudes/afriquedusud2013.htm).

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Laurent & Fabrice Murtin & Geoff Barnard & Dean Janse van Rensburg & Vijay Reddy & George Frempong & Lolita Winnaar, 2013. "Policy Determinants of School Outcomes Under Model Uncertainty: Evidence from South Africa," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1057, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:1057-en
    DOI: 10.1787/5k452klln7tl-en
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Stephen Taylor & Derek Yu, 2009. "The importance of socio-economic status in determining educational achievement in South Africa," Working Papers 01/2009, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    2. Servaas VAN DER BERG & Onelle BURGER, 2003. "Education And Socio‐Economic Differentials: A Study Of School Performance In The Western Cape," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 71(3), pages 496-522, September.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Afrique du Sud; Bayesian model averaging; choix de modèles par estimateur Bayésien; education; South Africa; éducation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C2 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • O2 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy

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