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Curriculum and Ideology

  • Davide Cantoni
  • Yuyu Chen
  • David Y. Yang
  • Noam Yuchtman
  • Y. Jane Zhang

We study the causal effect of school curricula on students’ stated beliefs and attitudes. We exploit a major textbook reform in China that was rolled out between 2004 and 2010 with the explicit intention of shaping youths’ ideology. To measure its effect, we present evidence from a novel survey we conducted among 2000 students at Peking University. The sharp, staggered introduction of the new curriculum across provinces allows us to identify the effects of the new educational content in a generalized difference in differences framework. We examine government documents articulating desired consequences of the reform, and identify changes in textbook content and college entrance exams that reflect the government’s aims. These changes were often effective: study under the new curriculum is robustly associated with changed views on political participation and democracy in China, increased trust in government officials, and a more skeptical view of free markets.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2014/wp-cesifo-2014-04/cesifo1_wp4779.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4779.

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Date of creation: 2014
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4779
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  1. Bursztyn, Leonardo & Cantoni, Davide, 2012. "A Tear in the Iron Curtain: The Impact of Western Television on Consumption Behavior," Discussion Papers in Economics 13949, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Algan, Yann & Cahuc, Pierre & Shleifer, Andrei, 2011. "Teaching Practices and Social Capital," IZA Discussion Papers 6052, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Yang Yao & Nancy Qia & Monica Martinez Bravo & Gerard Padro i Miquel, 2011. "Do Local Elections in Non-Democracies Increase Accountability? Evidence from Rural China," Working Papers id:3931, eSocialSciences.
  4. Leonardo Bursztyn & Davide Cantoni, 2014. "A Tear in the Iron Curtain: The Impact of Western Television on Consumption Behavior," NBER Working Papers 20403, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Anderson, Michael L., 2008. "Multiple Inference and Gender Differences in the Effects of Early Intervention: A Reevaluation of the Abecedarian, Perry Preschool, and Early Training Projects," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 103(484), pages 1481-1495.
  6. Cantoni, Davide & Yuchtman, Noam, 2013. "The political economy of educational content and development: Lessons from history," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 233-244.
  7. Ulrike Malmendier & Stefan Nagel, 2011. "Depression Babies: Do Macroeconomic Experiences Affect Risk Taking?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 373-416.
  8. Antonio Spilimbergo, 2009. "Democracy and Foreign Education," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 528-43, March.
  9. Cantoni, Davide & Yuchtman, Noam, 2012. "Educational Content, Educational Institutions and Economic Development: Lessons from History," Discussion Papers in Economics 12691, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  10. Matthew A. Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2004. "Media, Education and Anti-Americanism in the Muslim World," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 117-133, Summer.
  11. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1997. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," DELTA Working Papers 97-03, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  12. Yoav Benjamini & Abba M. Krieger & Daniel Yekutieli, 2006. "Adaptive linear step-up procedures that control the false discovery rate," Biometrika, Biometrika Trust, vol. 93(3), pages 491-507, September.
  13. Willa Friedman & Michael Kremer & Edward Miguel & Rebecca Thornton, 2011. "Education as Liberation?," NBER Working Papers 16939, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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