Race Differences in Educational Attainment in Post-Apartheid South Africa

Tim B. Heaton, Brigham Young University
Yaw Amoateng, University of Johannesburg
Mikaela Dufur, Brigham Young University

Nationally representative household survbeys from 2002 to 2009 from post-apartheid South Africa demonstrate that substantial educational inequality still exists. This inequality is not evident at ages when children begin school but becomes increasingly evident at older ages. This pattern suggests that African and Coloured children either drop out or repeat grades to the extent that by age 18 they have a two year education disadvantage compared with White and Asian children. A substantial share of this disadvantage is because of family background. A much smaller share is because of school characteristics. There is some indication that the trend may be narrowing, but not enough to eliminate inequality in the near future. These results imply the need for more effective education policy that should address both issues of racial inequality and disadvantaged family background.

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Presented in Poster Session 7