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A question of efficiency: decomposing South African reading test scores using PIRLS 2006

  • Debra Shepherd


    (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)

The "bimodal" pattern of performance observed in South Africa illustrates the persistence with which learners of former Black schools continue to lag behind their "advantaged" counterparts. It is posited that the poor functioning of former Black schools accounts for this result. A nationally representative dataset of grade 5 learners and counterfactual distribution and decomposition techniques are adopted to identify the part of the performance gap that may be explained by differences in (i) the returns structure and (ii) school characteristics composition. The former is found to be 18.9 percent of the average gap and increases significantly over the outcome distribution.

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Paper provided by Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 20/2013.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:sza:wpaper:wpapers196
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