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

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Murphy says mobile sensor data will allow adaptive interventions for maximizing healthy outcomes

Frey comments on why sunbelt metro area economies are still struggling

Krause says having religious friends leads to gratitude, which is associated with better health

Highlights

PSC Fall 2014 Newsletter now available

Martha Bailey and Nicolas Duquette win Cole Prize for article on War on Poverty

Michigan's graduate sociology program tied for 4th with Stanford in USN&WR rankings

Jeff Morenoff makes Reuters' Highly Cited Researchers list for 2014

Next Brown Bag

Monday, Oct 20
No brown bag this week

David Lam photo

Schooling as a lottery: Racial differences in school advancement in urban South Africa

Publication Abstract

Lam, David, Cally Ardington, and Murray Leibbrandt. 2011. "Schooling as a lottery: Racial differences in school advancement in urban South Africa." Journal of Development Economics, 95(2): 121-136.

This paper analyzes the large racial differences in progress through secondary school in South Africa. Using recently collected longitudinal data we find that grade advancement 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. We develop a stochastic model of grade repetition that generates predictions consistent with these results. 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. The results suggest 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.

DOI:10.1016/j.jdeveco.2010.05.005 (Full Text)

PMCID: PMC3076682. (Pub Med Central)

More information

Country of focus: South Africa.

Browse | Search : All Pubs | Next