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Type Thesis or Dissertation - Master's thesis
Title The impact of the South African old age pension on the educational attainment of children
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2012
The South African old age pension is the largest cash transfer in the country and its reach extends far beyond the intended beneficiaries, having a significant impact on other household members. Given the prevalence of three and skip generational households in the country the effect that the pension has on children co-residing with pensioners is significant. While the improvement in health status of children is well-documented, the impact on educational attainment is less so. Using 2008 NIDS data this study exploits the age eligibility criteria of the pension to determine what effect the pension has on the educational attainment of co-resident children. The results indicate a strong gender dimension in the impact of the pension, with reference to both the recipient as well as the child. More specifically male pension income has a statistically significant, positive impact on the educational attainment of boys. However, young boys living in households with both a male and a female pensioner have significantly lower educational attainment. Older girls are negatively impacted by the presence of a female pensioner, resulting in lower educational attainment, while older girls benefit from living with pensioners of both sexes. There is no significant impact of the pension on the educational attainment of young girls or older boys. These findings provide a nuanced picture of the impact of the pension on unintended child beneficiaries, which is useful in any social welfare policy debate.

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