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Returns to higher education in China: What is the role of college quality?

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  • Zhong, Hai

Abstract

When there is substantial variation in the quality of colleges and universities, estimating returns to higher education based on quantity of education alone can be misleading. This paper examines the relationship between returns to higher education and college quality in China. We find that returns to higher education vary significantly depending on school quality. In addition, we find that the relationship between earnings and school quality is stronger for cohorts of workers that have entered the workforce more recently. This finding may result from the fact that as the transition toward a market system progresses in China, the wage system becomes increasingly responsive to key components of human capital. We also find that the earning gap between graduates from lower-quality colleges and those from vocational/technical schools decreases over time. Our results may help to inform individual decision-making on investment in education, effective expansion of the higher education system, and efficient resource allocation across different levels of the education system.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal China Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 22 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 260-275

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Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:22:y:2011:i:2:p:260-275

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/chieco

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Keywords: Wages Returns to higher education College quality China;

References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Shahid Yusuf, 2012. "From Technological Catch-up to Innovation : The Future of China’s GDP Growth," World Bank Other Operational Studies 12781, The World Bank.
  2. Wenshu Gao & Russell Smyth, 2012. "Returns to Schooling in Urban China, 2001-2010: Evidence from Three Waves of the China Urban Labor Survey," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series 50-12, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  3. Messinis, George, 2013. "Returns to education and urban-migrant wage differentials in China: IV quantile treatment effects," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 39-55.
  4. Wang, Le, 2012. "Economic transition and college premium in urban China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 238-252.
  5. Shang, Qingyan & Poon, Jessie P.H. & Yue, Qingtang, 2012. "The role of regional knowledge spillovers on China's innovation," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 1164-1175.

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