Trends in the Intergenerational Transmission of Education Among Black South Africans

21 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2014

See all articles by Prudence Magejo

Prudence Magejo

University of the Witwatersrand

Miracle Ntuli

University of Cape Town (UCT)

Tendai Gwatidzo

University of the Witwatersrand

Abstract

This paper investigates trends in intergenerational transmission of education among black South Africans – changes in correlation between parents' and children's education. Using data for 1954-1993 birth cohorts, we find a decrease in intergenerational transmission of education over the last four decades. The decline is strongest in the lower tail of the educational distribution. Nevertheless, a considerable portion of children's education still depends on family background. Children from poor educational backgrounds face significant barriers to attaining higher levels of education while the reverse applies to those from rich backgrounds. This suggests that initiatives to weaken the intergenerational link, particularly at higher levels of education, should target the offspring of educationally deprived parents.

Keywords: intergenerational transmission, education, South Africa

JEL Classification: J62, I24

Suggested Citation

Magejo, Prudence and Ntuli, Miracle and Gwatidzo, Tendai, Trends in the Intergenerational Transmission of Education Among Black South Africans. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8546, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2514739

Prudence Magejo (Contact Author)

University of the Witwatersrand ( email )

1 Jan Smuts Avenue
Johannesburg, GA Gauteng 2000
South Africa

Miracle Ntuli

University of Cape Town (UCT) ( email )

Private Bag X3
Rondebosch, Western Cape 7701
South Africa

Tendai Gwatidzo

University of the Witwatersrand ( email )

1 Jan Smuts Avenue
Johannesburg, GA Gauteng 2000
South Africa

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