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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The unintended consequences of education policies on South African participation and unemployment
Authors:Burger, Rulof
van der Berg, ServaasISNI
von Fintel, DieterISNI
Year:2015
Periodical:South African Journal of Economics (ISSN 0038-2280)
Volume:83
Issue:1
Pages:74-100
Language:English
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:educational policy
labour market
unemployment
economic models
Link:https://doi.org/10.1111/saje.12049
Abstract:In the late 1990s, the South African Department of Education implemented two policies that were meant to reduce the large number of over-aged learners in the school system: schools were no longer allowed to accept students who were more than two years older than the correct grade age, and students could not be held back more than once in each of four schooling phases. Our analysis uses school administrative data and household survey data to show that these policies coincided with a decrease in school enrolment of at least 400,000 and possibly more than 900,000 learners. These policies appear to have pushed many students into the labour market at earlier ages than was observed for previous generations, which explains much of the sudden increase in labour force participation and unemployment during this period. However, since these individuals would probably have entered the labour market sooner if not for their poor employment prospects, the authors argue that the resulting increase in unemployment signifies a more accurate reflection of disguised unemployment that already existed in the mid-1990s rather than a deterioration of labour market conditions. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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