The unintended consequences of education policies on South African participation and unemployment
In 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 were inclined to remain in school due to their poor labour market prospects. These policies appear to have pushed many students into the labour market at earlier ages than was observed for previous generations, which explains much of the sudden increase in labour force participation and unemployment during 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 resulting 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.
|Date of creation:||2012|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Private Bag X1, 7602 Matieland|
Fax: +27 (0)21-808 2409
Web page: https://www.ekon.sun.ac.za
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Abhijit Banerjee & Sebastian Galiani & Jim Levinsohn & Zoë McLaren & Ingrid Woolard, 2008.
"Why has unemployment risen in the New South Africa?,"
The Economics of Transition,
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 16(4), pages 715-740, October.
- Abhijit Banerjee & Sebastian Galiani & Jim Levinsohn & Zoë McLaren & Ingrid Woolard, 2007. "Why Has Unemployment Risen in the New South Africa," NBER Working Papers 13167, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Rulof Burger & Dieter von Fintel, 2009.
"Determining the Causes of the Rising South African Unemployment Rate: An Age, Period and Generational Analysis,"
158, Economic Research Southern Africa.
- Rulof Burger & Dieter von Fintel, 2009. "Determining the Causes of the Rising South African Unemployment Rate: An Age, Period and Generational Analysis," Working Papers 24/2009, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
- Haroon Bhorat, 2004. "Labour Market Challenges In The Post-Apartheid South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 72(5), pages 940-977, December.
- Lam, David & Ardington, Cally & Leibbrandt, Murray, 2011.
"Schooling as a lottery: Racial differences in school advancement in urban South Africa,"
Journal of Development Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 121-136, July.
- David Lam & Cally Ardington & Murray Leibbrandt, 2007. "Schooling as a Lottery: Racial Differences in School Advancement in Urban South Africa," Working Papers 56, Economic Research Southern Africa.
- David Lam & Cally Ardington & Murray Leibbrandt, 2007. "Schooling as a Lottery: Racial Differences in School Advancement in Urban South Africa," SALDRU Working Papers 18, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
- H. Bhorat & J. Hodge, 1999. "Decomposing Shifts in Labour Demand in South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 67(3), pages 155-168, September.
- Rulof Burger & Ingrid Woolard, 2005. "The State of the Labour Market in South Africa after the First Decade of Democracy," SALDRU/CSSR Working Papers 133, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
- Nicola Branson & Martin Wittenberg, 2007. "The Measurement Of Employment Status In South Africa Using Cohort Analysis, 1994-2004," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 75(2), pages 313-326, June.
- Derek Yu, 2007. "The comparability of the Statistics South Africa October Household Surveys and Labour Force Surveys," Working Papers 17/2007, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sza:wpaper:wpapers163. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Melt van Schoor)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.