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Including excluded groups: The slow racial transformation of the South African university system

Author

Listed:
  • Barnard, Helena
  • Cowan, Robin A.
  • Kirman, Alan P.
  • Müller, Moritz

Abstract

This paper looks at the inclusion of excluded groups, notably the racial transformation of the South African university system. Both demand-side factors - are qualified black people hired as faculty? - and supply-side factors - are there enough qualified black people who can be hired as faculty? | need to be aligned. Prior evidence suggests that demand and supply both have both a psychological and a structural dimension. Affrmative action-type regulations address the structural dimension of demand, but homophily (a "love for the own") can nonetheless limit the hiring of faculty in white-dominated hiring committees. On the supply side, the weak education system limits the structural supply of quality black potential academics. But the limited hiring of black academics and resulting limited role models mean that few black people even consider an academic career. This paper presents a model of hiring (either randomly or on a homophilic basis), calibrated with data from the South African university system from the end of Apartheid. Our evidence suggests that even a relatively small reduction of homophily increases the rate at which the excluded group enters the workforce, and also that the effects of homophily and feedback from previous hires are of a similar magnitude. Nonetheless, the conclusions from the model suggest that the relatively long duration of a research career and slow growth of the national university system will result in a slow process of racial transformation.

Suggested Citation

  • Barnard, Helena & Cowan, Robin A. & Kirman, Alan P. & Müller, Moritz, 2016. "Including excluded groups: The slow racial transformation of the South African university system," Working Paper Series in Economics 89, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Department of Economics and Business Engineering.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:kitwps:89
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jacquemet, Nicolas & Yannelis, Constantine, 2012. "Indiscriminate discrimination: A correspondence test for ethnic homophily in the Chicago labor market," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 824-832.
    2. repec:hal:cesptp:hal-00745109 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:hal:journl:hal-00745109 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 991-1013, September.
    5. Marianne Bertrand & Dolly Chugh & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2005. "Implicit Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 94-98, May.
    6. Nicholas Spaull, 2012. "Poverty & Privilege: Primary School Inequality in South Africa," Working Papers 13/2012, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    7. Leonard, Jonathan S, 1990. "The Impact of Affirmative Action Regulation and Equal Employment Law on Black Employment," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 47-63, Fall.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    universities; racial transformation; South Africa; transformation; higher education access; segregation;

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

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