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The poverty trap of education: Education–poverty connections in Western China

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  • Zhang, Huafeng

Abstract

Traditional studies of development and education focus either on the benefits of education for lifting the poor out of poverty, or on the vicious circle created when poor cannot afford education. This paper adds to the traditional view by also focusing on the poverty trap that is created for families that invest heavily in education without obtaining returns. It offers another perspective on the new education–poverty trap, with the burden of educational costs as cause of poverty and deprivation for low- and middle-income families. Data from a large-scale survey of the Western regions of China shows that the cost of higher education is far beyond low- and middle-income families’ affordability. Chinese households face a dilemma: borrowing money to educate a child or avoiding debt but foregoing education and mobility. While already acknowledged as a major social problem in China, the new poverty–education connection has so far received relatively little scholarly attention.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhang, Huafeng, 2014. "The poverty trap of education: Education–poverty connections in Western China," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 47-58.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:injoed:v:38:y:2014:i:c:p:47-58
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ijedudev.2014.05.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hua Zhou & Di Mo & Renfu Luo & Ai Yue & Scott Rozelle, 2016. "Are Children with Siblings Really More Vulnerable Than Only Children in Health, Cognition and Non-cognitive Outcomes? Evidence from a Multi-province Dataset in China," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 24(3), pages 3-17, May.
    2. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:11:p:4316-:d:184380 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:2:p:559-:d:132892 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:chieco:v:44:y:2017:i:c:p:112-124 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Educational cost; Poverty trap; Educational investment decision; Poverty–education connection;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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