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How effective are poor schools? Poverty and educational outcomes in South Africa

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  • van der Berg, Servaas

Abstract

There is a well-known debate about the roles of geography versus institutions in explaining the long-term development of countries. These debates have usually been based on cross-country regressions where questions about parameter heterogeneity, unobserved heterogeneity, and endogeneity cannot easily be controlled for. The innovation of Acemoglu, Johnson and Robinson (2001) was to address this last point by using settler mortality as an instrument for geography-induced endogenous institutions and found that this supported their line of reasoning. We believe there is value-added to consider this debate at the micro level within a country as particularly questions of parameter heterogeneity and unobserved heterogeneity are likely to be smaller than between countries. Moreover, at the micro level it is possible to identify more precise transmission mechanisms from geography via institutions to economic development outcomes. In particular, we examine the determinants of economic development across villages on the Indonesian Island of Sulawesi and find that geography-induced endogenous emergence of land rights is the critical institutional link between geographic conditions and technological change. We therefore highlight and empirically validate a new transmission channel from endogenously generated institutions on economic development.

Suggested Citation

  • van der Berg, Servaas, 2008. "How effective are poor schools? Poverty and educational outcomes in South Africa," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 69, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:cegedp:69
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Anne Case & Angus Deaton, 1999. "School Inputs and Educational Outcomes in South Africa," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 1047-1084.
    2. Hanushek, Eric A., 2002. "Publicly provided education," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 30, pages 2045-2141 Elsevier.
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    Cited by:

    1. Taylor, Stephen & von Fintel, Marisa, 2016. "Estimating the impact of language of instruction in South African primary schools: A fixed effects approach," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 75-89.
    2. Rulof Burger & Rachel Jafta, 2006. "Returns to Race: Labour Market Discrimination in Post-Apartheid South Africa," Working Papers 04/2006, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    3. Nicola Branson & Julia Garlick & David Lam & Murray Leibbrandt, 2012. "Education and Inequality: The South African Case," SALDRU Working Papers 75, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    4. repec:eee:injoed:v:56:y:2017:i:c:p:1-10 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Stephen Taylor & Nicholas Spaull, 2013. "The effects of rapidly expanding primary school access on effective learning: The case of Southern and Eastern Africa since 2000," Working Papers 01/2013, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    6. Fabrice Murtin & Thomas Laurent & Geoff Barnard & Dean Janse van Rensburg & Vijay Reddy & George Frempong & Lolita Winnaar, 2015. "Policy Determinants of School Outcomes under Model Uncertainty: Evidence from South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 83(3), pages 317-334, September.
    7. Nic Spaull, 2011. "A Preliminary Analysis of SACMEQ III South Africa," Working Papers 11/2011, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    8. Taylor, Stephen & Spaull, Nicholas, 2015. "Measuring access to learning over a period of increased access to schooling: The case of Southern and Eastern Africa since 2000," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 47-59.
    9. Stephen Taylor & Servaas van der Berg & Vijay Reddy & Dean Janse van Rensburg, 2011. "How well do South African schools convert grade 8 achievement into matric outcomes?," Working Papers 13/2011, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    10. Derek Yu, 2012. "Youths in the South African labour market since the transition: A study of changes between 1995 and 2011," Working Papers 18/2012, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    11. Kaus, Wolfhard, 2013. "Conspicuous consumption and “race”: Evidence from South Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 63-73.
    12. 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.
    13. Debra L. Shepherd, 2011. "Constraints to school effectiveness: what prevents poor schools from delivering results?," Working Papers 05/2011, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    geography; migration; land rights; technology adoption; agricultural development; Indonesia;

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

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