Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Wei-Chiao Huang

Second Advisor

Dr. James Butterfield

Third Advisor

Dr. Donald Alexander


Stochastic, discrimination, wage gaps, South Africa. economics. race


Wage gaps amongst the different racial groups in South Africa, have remained high post-apartheid. With the enactment and implementation of several empowerment programs aiming at reversing racial marginalization, it is puzzling to see the persistent wage gaps between the white minority and non-white majority. This dissertation seeks to ascertain factors that may account for the persistent wage gap.

The first essay tests for the presence of over-education and its effects on wage determination amongst South Africa’s racial demographic groups. The results indicate that whites were over-educated whilst marginalized populations exhibited significant levels of under-education in 1991 and 2011 and hence resulting in South Africa’s large wage gaps.

The second essay investigates whether under-education in South Africa’s labor market amplifies discrimination between its key population groups. Our results show that post-apartheid, under-education does to a considerable extent bias discrimination in South Africa’s Labor Market.

In the third essay we take advantage of recently available data to test and affirm the hypothesis from recent literature that the quality of basic education overstates the extent of discrimination in South Africa’s labor market.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access