Home > Publications . Search All . Browse All . Country . Browse PSC Pubs . PSC Report Series

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Yang comments on importance of migrant remittances to future of recipient families

Frey says America's black population is changing with recent immigration

Bailey and Danziger's War on Poverty book reviewed in NY Review of Books

Highlights

Hicken wins 2015 UROP Outstanding Research Mentor Award

U-M ranked #1 in Sociology of Population by USN&WR's "Best Graduate Schools"

PAA 2015 Annual Meeting: Preliminary program and list of UM participants

ISR addition wins LEED Gold Certification

Next Brown Bag

Mon, May 18
Lois Verbrugge, Disability Experience & Measurement

David Lam photo

Schooling as a Lottery: Racial Differences in School Advancement in Urban South Africa

Publication Abstract

Download PDF versionLam, David, Cally Ardington, and Murray Leibbrandt. 2008. "Schooling as a Lottery: Racial Differences in School Advancement in Urban South Africa." PSC Research Report No. 08-632. February 2008.

This paper develops a stochastic model of grade repetition to analyze the large racial differences in progress through secondary school in South Africa. The model predicts that a larger stochastic component in the link between learning and measured performance will generate higher enrollment, higher failure rates, and a weaker link between ability and grade progression. Using recently collected longitudinal data we find that progress through secondary school is strongly associated with scores on a baseline literacy and numeracy test. In grades 8-11 the effect of these scores on grade progression is much stronger for white and coloured students than for African students, while there is no racial difference in the impact of the scores on passing the nationally standardized grade 12 matriculation exam. The results provide strong support for our model, suggesting that grade progression in African schools is poorly linked to actual ability and learning. The results point to the importance of considering the stochastic component of grade repetition in analyzing school systems with high failure rates. .

Country of focus: South Africa.

Browse | Search : All Pubs | Next