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Exploring the Impact of Interrupted Education on Earnings: The Educational Cost of the Chinese Cultural Revolution

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  • Meng, Xin

    ()
    (Australian National University)

  • Gregory, Bob

    ()
    (Australian National University)

Abstract

During the Chinese Cultural Revolution many schools stopped normal operation for a long time, senior high schools stopped student recruitment for up to 6 years, and universities stopped recruitment for an even longer period. Such large scale school interruptions significantly reduced the opportunity for a large cohort of individuals to obtain university degrees and senior high school qualifications. More than half of this cohort who would normally attain a university degree were unable to do so. We estimate that those who did not obtain a university degree, because of the Cultural Revolution, lost an average of more than 50 percent of potential earnings. Both genders suffered reduced attainment of senior high school certificates and more than 20 per cent prematurely stopped their education process at junior high school level. However, these education responses do not appear to have translated into lower earnings. In addition, at each level of education attainment most of the cohort experienced missed or interrupted schooling. We show, however, that given the education certificate attained, the impact on earnings of these missed years of schooling or lack of normal curricula was small.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2548.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2548

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Keywords: education; earnings; Cultural Revolution; China;

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References

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  1. Chevalier, Arnaud, 2004. "Parental Education and Child's Education: A Natural Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 1153, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. John Bound & David A. Jaeger, 1996. "On the Validity of Season of Birth as an Instrument in Wage Equations: A Comment on Angrist & Krueger's "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Scho," NBER Working Papers 5835, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Meng,Xin, 2009. "Labour Market Reform in China," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521121118, October.
  4. Joshua D. Angrist & Guido W. Imbens, 1995. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," NBER Technical Working Papers 0118, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Philip Oreopoulos & Marianne E. Page, 2006. "The Intergenerational Effects of Compulsory Schooling," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(4), pages 729-760, October.
  6. 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.
  7. Andrea Ichino & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2004. "The Long-Run Educational Cost of World War II," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 57-86, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Olga N. Shemyakina, 2011. "Labour Market, Education and Armed Conflict in Tajikistan," HiCN Working Papers 106, Households in Conflict Network.
  2. de Walque, Damien, 2004. "The long-term legacy of the Khmer Rouge period in Cambodia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3446, The World Bank.
  3. 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.
  4. Mevlude Akbulut Yuksel & Mutlu Yuksel, 2013. "The Long-Term Direct and External Effects of Jewish Expulsions in Nazi Germany," HiCN Working Papers 154, Households in Conflict Network.
  5. Li, Shi & Xing, Chunbing, 2010. "China's Higher Education Expansion and its Labor Market Consequences," IZA Discussion Papers 4974, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Shemyakina, Olga N., 2011. "The labor market, education and armed conflict in Tajikistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5738, The World Bank.
  7. Juan Yang & Shi Li, 2011. "The impact of rustication on sent-down cohorts’ income," Frontiers of Economics in China, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 290-310, June.
  8. Giles, John & Park, Albert & Wang, Meiyan, 2008. "The great proletarian cultural revolution, disruptions to education, and returns to schooling in urban China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4729, The World Bank.

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