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The Paradox of Educational Fairness in China

Author

Listed:
  • Wanhua Peng

    (Shihezi University
    Graduate School, Peking University)

  • Xiaobin Peng

    (Office of Informatization, Peking University)

  • Kaiping Peng

    (Department of Psychology, University of California
    Department of Psychology, Tsinghua University)

Abstract

Neoclassical economics is founded on a narrow notion of the rational human being, with self-interest and material well-being as the basis of judgment and decision making. This stands in stark contrast to long held views, in philosophy and psychology, that maintain that human reason is motivated in part by emotions and, in particular, by social comparison. The social psychologist Festinger found that much judgment and decision making are the results of social comparison which may or may not reflect the actual reality of individuals. We tested Festinger¡¯s notion in Chinese cultural contexts by investigating public discussions of educational fairness. We found that while educational spending has been increasing steadily, sentiments about educational fairness have been deteriorating. Time series analysis shows that these phenomena were not due to price inflation, availability of opinion outlets, or regional difference, but to the psychological process of social comparison. The implications of such a paradox are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Wanhua Peng & Xiaobin Peng & Kaiping Peng, 2009. "The Paradox of Educational Fairness in China," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 10(1), pages 199-213, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:cuf:journl:y:2009:v:10:i:1:p:199-213
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Qian Yang & Kaiping Peng & Xueya Zhou & Ruoqiao Zheng & Wanhua Peng, 2013. "The Monetary Effect of Power: How Perception of Power Affects Monetary Value Judgments in China and US," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 14(1), pages 69-83, May.
    2. Yubo Hou & Ge Gao & Fei Wang & Tingrui Li & Zhilan Yu, 2011. "Organizational Commitment and Creativity: the Influence of Thinking Styles," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 12(2), pages 411-431, November.
    3. Wanhua Peng & Kaiping Peng, 2010. "Ethnic Stereotypes and Economic Discrepancy: The Illusion of Differences between Han and Uyghur Chinese," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 11(2), pages 381-397, November.
    4. repec:cuf:journl:y:2013:v:14:i:1:n:5:yang is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Educational spending; Educational fairness; Social comparison; Paradox;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • J78 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Public Policy (including comparable worth)

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