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Education and the Poverty Trap in Rural China: Closing the Trap


  • John Knight
  • Li Shi
  • Deng Quheng


This is an ambitious attempt to view the relationships involving education and income as forming a system, and one that can generate a poverty trap. The setting is rural China, and the data are from a national household survey for 2002, designed with research hypotheses in mind. The paper shows how and why the returns to education vary according to household and community income. It examines the effects of education on income, innovation, health and happiness, and shows how education can be important in helping people to escape from various dimensions of poverty. The results are brought together to form an empirical model of a poverty trap, and the implications for poverty analysis and for educational policy are considered.

Suggested Citation

  • John Knight & Li Shi & Deng Quheng, 2010. "Education and the Poverty Trap in Rural China: Closing the Trap," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(1), pages 1-24.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:38:y:2010:i:1:p:1-24 DOI: 10.1080/13600810903551595

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gordon Cordina, 2004. "Economic Vulnerability And Economic Growth: Some Results From A Neo-Classical Growth Modelling Approach," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 29(2), pages 21-39, December.
    2. Lino Briguglio & Gordon Cordina & Nadia Farrugia & Stephanie Vella, 2009. "Economic Vulnerability and Resilience: Concepts and Measurements," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(3), pages 229-247.
    3. Briguglio, Lino, 1995. "Small island developing states and their economic vulnerabilities," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(9), pages 1615-1632, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jing You & Samuel Annim, 2014. "The Impact of Microcredit on Child Education: Quasi-experimental Evidence from Rural China," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(7), pages 926-948, July.
    2. Imai, Katsushi S. & Gaiha, Raghav & Thapa, Ganesh, 2015. "Does non-farm sector employment reduce rural poverty and vulnerability? Evidence from Vietnam and India," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 47-61.
    3. 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.
    4. You, Jing, 2014. "Risk, under-investment in agricultural assets and dynamic asset poverty in rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 27-45.
    5. Katsushi S. Imai & Raghav Gaiha & Woojin Kang & Samuel Annim & Ganesh Thapa, 2012. "Does Risk Matter? A Semi-parametric Model for Educational Choices in the Presence of Uncertainty," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 1226, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    6. Katsushi S. Imai & Jing You, 2014. "Poverty Dynamics of Households in Rural China," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 76(6), pages 898-923, December.
    7. repec:eee:chieco:v:44:y:2017:i:c:p:112-124 is not listed on IDEAS

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