The effects of pupil-teacher ratio and expenditure per pupil on educational attainment in South Africa


Esther Mumbi Kimani and Haroon Bhorat


In this study we examine the relationship between school inputs -pupil-teacher ratio and expenditure per pupil- and educational attainment in South Africa. Following a reduced form production function we apply a partial generalized ordered probit which allows us to identify heterogeneous effects of the controls at different levels of education. The government has increased its spending in basic education mainly through an increase in government employed teachers in an effort to reduce the pupil-teacher ratio, and through an increase in expenditure per pupil allocated by school quintile in a bid to attain equality in resources at school. Controlling for individual, socio-economic and neighborhood characteristics we find both pupil-teacher ratio and expenditure per pupil have strong and significant effects on educational attainment of Africans in South Africa. These inputs have higher effects on attainment of lower education levels.

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