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

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  • Debra Shepherd

    (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Debra Shepherd, 2013. "A question of efficiency: decomposing South African reading test scores using PIRLS 2006," Working Papers 20/2013, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:sza:wpaper:wpapers196
    as

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    File URL: https://www.ekon.sun.ac.za/wpapers/2013/wp202013/wp-20-2013.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Marisa von Fintel & Servaas van der Berg, 2017. "What a difference a good school makes! Persistence in academic performance and the impact of school quality," Working Papers 07/2017, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics, revised 2017.
    2. Paula Armstrong, 2014. "The impact of teacher characteristics on student performance: An analysis using hierarchical linear modelling," Working Papers 25/2014, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    3. Heleen Hofmeyr, 2020. "South Africa’s Pro-Girl Gap in PIRLS and TIMSS: How Much Can Be Explained?," Working Papers 17/2020, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    bimodal performance; effectiveness; decomposition; South Africa;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development

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