Education and Racial Inequality in Post-Apartheid South Africa

Malcolm Keswell

in Growing Gaps

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199732180
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199866182 | DOI:
Education and Racial Inequality in Post-Apartheid South Africa

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This chapter examines changes in the causal structure of racial inequality in South Africa. It derives an analytical framework with testable hypotheses concerning equal opportunity. Using this framework and recent nationally representative panel data, it shows that while opportunities have been substantially equalized, as evidenced by an overall decline in the white-black wage differential, a new form of racial inequality has emerged, operating not directly on income, as in the heyday of job reservation, influx control, and school segregation, but indirectly, through inequality in the rewards for effort (as witnessed by sharply divergent patterns in the returns to education between the races). Differences in the returns to education now account for about 40% of the white–black wage differential, whereas a decade ago this effect was virtually zero.

Keywords: South Africa; racial inequality; educational inequality; human capital; equal opportunity; wage differential

Chapter.  8094 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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