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Sorting, Selection, and Transformation of the Return to College Education in China

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Author Info

  • Fleisher, Belton M.

    ()
    (Ohio State University)

  • Li, Haizheng

    ()
    (Georgia Tech)

  • Li, Shi

    ()
    (Beijing Normal University)

  • Wang, Xiaojun

    ()
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa)

Abstract

We estimate selection and sorting effects on the evolution of the private return to schooling for college graduates during China’s between 1988 and 2002. We pay special attention to the changing role of sorting by ability versus budget-constraint effects as China’s education policy has changed from one in which the bulk of direct costs are paid by government for students who pass a rigid set of test to one in which freedom of choice is increasingly the rule for those who can afford to pay for tuition and living expenses while acquiring higher education. We find evidence of substantial sorting gains under the traditional system but that gains have diminished and even become negative as schooling choices widened and participation has become subject to increasing direct private costs. We take this as evidence consistent with the influence of financial constraints on decisions to attend college.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1446.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1446

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Keywords: return to schooling; sorting gains; heterogeneity; financial constraints; comparative advantage;

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References

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  1. Fleisher, Belton M. & Wang, Xiaojun, 2005. "Returns to schooling in China under planning and reform," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 265-277, June.
  2. Dennis Tao Yang, 1999. "Urban-Biased Policies and Rising Income Inequality in China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 306-310, May.
  3. Belton M. Fleisher & Klara Sabirianova Peter & Xiaojun Wang, 2004. "Returns to Skills and the Speed of Reforms: Evidence from Central and Eastern Europe, China, and Russia," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2004-703, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  4. Knight, John B & Song, Lina, 1991. "The Determinants of Urban Income Inequality in China," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 53(2), pages 123-54, May.
  5. Münich, Daniel & Svejnar, Jan & Terrell, Katherine, 1999. "Returns to Human Capital Under the Communist Wage Grid and During the Transition to a Market Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers 2332, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Orazem, Peter & Vodopivec, Milan, 1995. "Winners and Losers in Transition: Returns to Education, Experience, and Gender in Slovenia," Staff General Research Papers 5270, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  7. Fleisher, Belton M. & Wang, Xiaojun, 2001. "Efficiency Wages and Work Incentives in Urban and Rural China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 645-662, December.
  8. James Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 1998. "Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(5), pages 1017-1098, September.
  9. Bjorklund, Anders & Moffitt, Robert, 1987. "The Estimation of Wage Gains and Welfare Gains in Self-selection," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(1), pages 42-49, February.
  10. Fleisher, Belton M & Dong, Keyong & Liu, Yunhua, 1996. "Education, Enterprise Organization, and Productivity in the Chinese Paper Industry," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(3), pages 571-87, April.
  11. Meng, Xin & Gregory, R G, 2002. "The Impact of Interrupted Education on Subsequent Educational Attainment: A Cost of the Chinese Cultural Revolution," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(4), pages 935-59, July.
  12. Pedro Carneiro & James J. Heckman, 2002. "The Evidence on Credit Constraints in Post-Secondary Schooling," NBER Working Papers 9055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Li, Haizheng, 2003. "Economic transition and returns to education in China," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 317-328, June.
  14. Yang, Dennis Tao, 2005. "Determinants of schooling returns during transition: Evidence from Chinese cities," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 244-264, June.
  15. Yang, Dennis Tao, 2002. "What has caused regional inequality in China?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 331-334, December.
  16. Hannum, Emily & Wang, Meiyan, 2006. "Geography and educational inequality in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 253-265.
  17. Fleisher, Belton M. & Wang, Xiaojun, 2004. "Skill differentials, return to schooling, and market segmentation in a transition economy: the case of Mainland China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 315-328, February.
  18. Fleisher, Belton M. & Chen, Jian, 1997. "The Coast-Noncoast Income Gap, Productivity, and Regional Economic Policy in China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 220-236, October.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Yao Amber Li & John Whalley & Shunming Zhang & Xiliang Zhao, 2011. "The Higher Educational Transformation of China and Its Global Implications," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(4), pages 516-545, 04.
  2. Wang, Le, 2012. "Economic transition and college premium in urban China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 238-252.
  3. Fleisher, Belton M. & Li, Haizheng & Zhao, Min Qiang, 2007. "Human Capital, Economic Growth, and Regional Inequality in China," IZA Discussion Papers 2703, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Chen, Yuanyuan & Feng, Shuaizhang, 2009. "Parental Education and Wages: Evidence from China," IZA Discussion Papers 4218, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Agnes E. Walker & Stephen Colagiuri, 2011. "Cost-Benefit Model System of Chronic Diseases in Australia to Assess and Rank Prevention and Treatment Options," International Journal of Microsimulation, Interational Microsimulation Association, vol. 4(3), pages 57-70.
  6. Yuanyuan Chen & Shuaizhang Feng, 2011. "Parental education and wages: Evidence from China," Frontiers of Economics in China, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 568-591, December.
  7. Vinod Mishra & Russell Smyth, 2012. "Returns to Schooling in Urban China: New Evidence Using Heteroskedasticity Restrictions to Obtain Identification Without Exclusion Restrictions," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series 33-12, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  8. 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.

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