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What is keeping the poor out of college?: Enrollment rates, educational barriers and college matriculation in China


Author Info

  • Xiaobing Wang
  • Chengfang Liu
  • Linxiu Zhang
  • Renfu Luo
  • Thomas Glauben
  • Yaojiang Shi
  • Scott Rozelle
  • Brian Sharbono


Purpose – With the rise in the opportunity to go to college, the purpose of this paper is to identify if China's rural poor are being excluded from the university system, and if so, why. Design/methodology/approach – Two sets of the authors' own primary survey data were used: a group of randomly selected high school students in Shaanxi Province and a census of all freshmen entering into four universities in Sichuan, Anhui and Shaanxi. The intention was to show if the rate of the rural poor attending universities is lower than that of urban students and that of rural non-poor; also to identify the barriers to education (if they exist) that are keeping enrollment rates low for the rural poor. The authors used ordinary least squares method to make the estimations. Findings – Matriculation rate of the poor into college was found to be substantially lower than the students from non-poor families. Clearly, barriers exist that are excluding the rural poor; however, the authors demonstrate that the real barriers are not at the point of college admissions, but before students have even matriculated into high school. Originality/value – This is the first empirical work which studies the barriers that keep the poor out of university. JEL classification: I29, I30, O53

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal China Agricultural Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 131-149

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Handle: RePEc:eme:caerpp:v:3:y:2011:i:2:p:131-149

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Related research

Keywords: China; Equal opportunities; Higher education; Poverty; Rural regions;

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Cited by:
  1. Xinxin Chen & Yaojiang Shi & Hongmei Yi & Linxiu Zhang & Di Mo & James Chu & Prashant Loyalka & Scott Rozelle, 2013. "The impact of a senior high school tuition relief program on poor junior high schoolstudents in rural China," Working Papers PIERI 2013-03, PEP-PIERI.
  2. Zhang, Linxiu & Yi, Hongmei & Luo, Renfu & Liu, Changfang & Rozelle, Scott, 2012. "The Human Capital Roots of the Middle Income Trap: The Case of China," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 131119, International Association of Agricultural Economists.


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