NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Murray Leibbrandt

Contact and additional information for this authorAll publicationsWorking Papers only

Working Papers and Chapters

November 2013Credit Constraints and the Racial Gap in Post-Secondary Education in South Africa
with David Lam, Cally Ardington, Nicola Branson: w19607
This paper analyzes the impact of high school household income and scholastic ability on post-secondary enrollment in South Africa. Using longitudinal data from the Cape Area Panel Study (CAPS), we analyze the large racial gaps in the proportion of high school graduates who enroll in university and other forms of post-secondary education. Our results indicate that family background and high school achievement (measured by a literacy and numeracy exam and performance on the grade 12 matriculation exam) are strong predictors of post-secondary enrollment and statistically account for all of the black-white difference in enrollment. Controlling for parental education and baseline scholastic ability reduces the estimated impact of household income on university enrollment, though there continue...
January 2011Fifteen Years On: Household Incomes in South Africa
with James Levinsohn: w16661
This paper uses national household survey data to examine changes in real per capita incomes in South Africa between 1993 and 2008; the start and the end of the first fifteen years of post-apartheid South Africa. These data show an increase in average per capita real incomes across the distribution. Over this period growth has been shared, albeit unequally, across almost the entire spectrum of incomes. However, kernel density estimations make clear that these real income changes are not dramatic and inequality has increased. We conduct a series of semi-parametric decompositions in order to understand the role of endowments and changes in the returns to these endowments in driving these observed changes in the income distribution. This analysis highlights the positive role played by changes...
May 2005Incomes in South Africa Since the Fall of Apartheid
with James Levinsohn, Justin McCrary: w11384
This paper examines changes in individual real incomes in South Africa between 1995 and 2000. We document substantial declines--on the order of 40%--in real incomes for both men and women. The brunt of the income decline appears to have been shouldered by the young and the non-white. We argue that changes in respondent attributes are insufficient to explain this decline. For most groups, a (conservative) correction for selection into income recipiency explains some, but not all, of the income decline. For other groups, selection is a potential explanation for the income decline. Perhaps the most persuasive explanation of the evidence is substantial economic restructuring of the South African economy in which wages are not bid up to keep pace with price changes due to a differentially slack...

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