Exposure to violence and educational outcomes in Cape Town

Presenter(s): Duncan Pieterse

Abstract / Description:

We explore the relationship between exposure to violence during childhood and educational outcomes in the context of higher than average rates of violence in Cape Town, South Africa and the disproportionate exposure to violence of young South Africans (black and coloured youth in particular). We match official police crime statistics at the neighbourhood level to the Cape Area Panel Study (CAPS) to provide a unique descriptive analysis of violence in Cape Town and determine the extent of selection bias using matching techniques. Using three measures of educational outcomes (numeracy and literacy test scores, dropout and high school exam results), we: (i) estimate kernel density functions of continuous educational outcomes measures by race and exposure to violence; and (ii) remove constant differences in unobserved family and neighbourhood background that may bias the results by using sibling and neighbourhood fixed effect models. In the baseline regressions, the measures of exposure to violence are significant and have a large negative effect on educational outcomes (with the exception of literacy scores). In the sibling and neighbourhood fixed effect regressions, the effect remains for two of the four measures of exposure to violence during childhood. These findings are robust to the inclusion of birth order effects.

Thu, 23 Feb 2012 -
13:00 to 14:00

Centre for Social Science Research, R429 Leslie Social Science Building