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Access to college and heterogeneous returns to education in China

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  • Wang, Xiaojun
  • Fleisher, Belton M.
  • Li, Haizheng
  • Li, Shi

Abstract

We apply a semi-parametric latent variable model to estimate selection and sorting effects on the evolution of private returns to schooling for college graduates during China's reform between 1988 and 2002. We find that there were substantial sorting gains under the traditional system, but such gains have dissipated to negligible levels in the most recent data. We take this as evidence of growing influence of private financial constraints on decisions to attend college as tuition costs have risen and the relative importance of government subsidies has declined. The main policy implication of our results is that labor and education reform without concomitant capital market reform and government support for the financially disadvantaged exacerbates increases in inequality inherent in elimination of the traditional “wage-grid”.

Suggested Citation

  • Wang, Xiaojun & Fleisher, Belton M. & Li, Haizheng & Li, Shi, 2014. "Access to college and heterogeneous returns to education in China," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 78-92.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:42:y:2014:i:c:p:78-92
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2014.05.006
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kyui, Natalia, 2016. "Expansion of higher education, employment and wages: Evidence from the Russian Transition," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 68-87.
    2. Castro Campos, Bente & Ren, Yanjun & Petrick, Martin, 2016. "The impact of education on income inequality between ethnic minorities and Han in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 253-267.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Return to schooling; Selection bias; Sorting gain; Heterogeneity; Financial constraints; Comparative advantage; China;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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