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The great proletarian cultural revolution, disruptions to education, and returns to schooling in urban China

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Author Info

  • Giles, John
  • Park, Albert
  • Wang, Meiyan

Abstract

In determining whether a country's higher education system should be expanded, it is important for policymakers first to determine the extent to which high private returns to post-secondary education are an indication of the scarcity of graduates instead of the high unobserved ability of students who choose to attend post-secondary education. To this end, the paper identifies the returns to schooling in urban China using individual-level variation in educational attainment caused by exogenous city-wide disruptions to education during the Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976. For city-cohorts who experienced greater disruptions, children's educational attainment became less correlated with that of their fathers and more influenced by whether their fathers held administrative positions. The analysis calculates returns to college education using data from the China Urban Labor Survey conducted in five large cities in 2001. The results are consistent with the selection of high-ability students into higher education. The analysis also demonstrates that these results are unlikely to be driven by sample selection bias associated with migration, or by alternative pathways through which the Cultural Revolution could have affected adult productivity.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4729.

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Date of creation: 01 Sep 2008
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4729

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Related research

Keywords: Education For All; Tertiary Education; Secondary Education; Primary Education; Population Policies;

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References

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  12. Emily Hannum & Albert Park & Alan de Brauw & Scott Rozelle, . "Returns to Education in Rural China," REAP Papers 22569, Rural Education Action Project at Stanford University.
  13. Meng, Xin & Gregory, Bob, 2007. "Exploring the Impact of Interrupted Education on Earnings: The Educational Cost of the Chinese Cultural Revolution," IZA Discussion Papers 2548, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. In Utero, 2006. "Is the 1918 Influenza Pandemic Over? Long-Term Effects of In Utero Influenza Exposure in the Post-1940 U.S. Population," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(4), pages 672-712, August.
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  17. Esther Duflo, 2000. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment," NBER Working Papers 7860, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Xin Meng & Nancy Qian, 2009. "The Long Term Consequences of Famine on Survivors: Evidence from a Unique Natural Experiment using China's Great Famine," NBER Working Papers 14917, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Harold Alderman & John Hoddinott & Bill Kinsey, 2004. "Long Term Consequences Of Early Childhood Malnutrition," HiCN Working Papers 09, Households in Conflict Network.
  3. Fleisher, Belton M. & Sabirianova, Klara & Wang, Xiaojun, 2005. "Returns to skills and the speed of reforms: Evidence from Central and Eastern Europe, China, and Russia," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 351-370, June.
  4. Li, Hongbin & Rosenzweig, Mark & Zhang, Junsen, 2008. "Altruism, Favoritism, and Guilt in the Allocation of Family Resources: Sophie's Choice in Mao's Mass Send Down Movement," Working Papers 54, Yale University, Department of Economics.
  5. Meng, Xin & Qian, Nancy, 2006. "The Long Run Health and Economic Consequences of Famine on Survivors: Evidence from China’s Great Famine," IZA Discussion Papers 2471, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Chen, Yuanyuan & Feng, Shuaizhang, 2009. "Parental Education and Wages: Evidence from China," IZA Discussion Papers 4218, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. SHI, Xinzheng, 2011. "Famine, fertility, and fortune in china," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 244-259, June.
  8. Alan de Brauw & Scott Rozelle, 2008. "Reconciling the Returns to Education in Off-Farm Wage Employment in Rural China," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(1), pages 57-71, 02.
  9. Wang, Le, 2011. "How Does Education Affect the Earnings Distribution in Urban China?," IZA Discussion Papers 6173, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Zhong, Hai, 2011. "Returns to higher education in China: What is the role of college quality?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 260-275, June.
  11. de Walque, Damien, 2004. "The long-term legacy of the Khmer Rouge period in Cambodia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3446, The World Bank.
  12. Ismail, Ramlee, 2007. "The Impact of Schooling Reform on Returns to Education in Malaysia," MPRA Paper 15021, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 29 Jan 2008.
  13. Belton Fleisher & Xiaojun Wang & Haizheng Li & Shi Li, 2009. "Access to Higher Education and Inequality: The Chinese Experiment," Working Papers 09-02, Ohio State University, Department of Economics.

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