The impact of educational attainment on youth poverty in South Africa
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Improving South Africa’s educational attainment levels has always been one of the policies of the democratic government en route to alleviating poverty and unemployment. The endeavours are mostly evident in the fiscal budget where a large portion of the government expenditure is devoted to education. Despite such efforts, poverty reduction and unemployment curtailment probability effects of education have been gradual. To date, the youth is faced with obstacles of extreme poverty and alarming levels of unemployment. This study examined the impact of educational attainment levels on youth poverty in South Africa. Taking account of the intricate nature of poverty, the study applied both moneymetric and non-income welfare indicators to determine poverty. Moreover, this research will enable an investigation on whether the extent of youth poverty reduction possibility, due to higher educational attainment, is the same with the non-youth cohort aged 35-59 years. Using the Living Conditions Survey (LCS) data set of 2008/09 and 2014/15, the study employed the Foster-Greer-Thorbecke poverty measure with the lower-bound poverty line approximated at R689 per capita per month (in 2016 December prices) to identify the moneymetric poor. For non-money metric poverty, the study adopted the relative approach and FAderived welfare index valued at 40th percentile. Additionally, descriptive and econometric (probit and bivariate probit models) analyses were conducted to explore the impact of educational attainment levels on poverty.