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

Stellenbosch Working Paper Series No. WP20/2013
 
Publication date: 2013
 
Author(s):
[protected email address] (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.

 
JEL Classification:

C31, I21, I25

Keywords:

bimodal performance, effectiveness, decomposition, South Africa

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Even with the release of data showing a record high unemployment rate in 2020Q4, it turned out to be a fairly good week for the SA economy. Daily new COVID-19 infections remained well contained, while the second batch of 80 000 J&J vaccines arrived (albeit controversially with the grounded SAA being the carrier). In addition, relative to the October...

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