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Curriculum and Ideology

Author

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Davide Cantoni & Yuyu Chen & David Y. Yang & Noam Yuchtman & Y. Jane Zhang, 2014. "Curriculum and Ideology," CESifo Working Paper Series 4779, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4779
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Antonio Spilimbergo, 2009. "Democracy and Foreign Education," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 528-543, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Marcel Prokopczuk & Francesco D'Acunto & Michael Weber, 2015. "Distrust in Finance Lingers: Jewish Persecution and Households' Investments," 2015 Meeting Papers 26, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Iyigun, Murat & Rubin, Jared, 2017. "The Ideological Roots of Institutional Change," IZA Discussion Papers 10703, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Roth, Christopher & Sumarto, Sudarno, 2015. "Does Education Increase Interethnic and Interreligious Tolerance? Evidence from a Natural Experiment," MPRA Paper 64558, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Cinnirella, Francesco & Schueler, Ruth, 2018. "Nation building: The role of central spending in education," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 18-39.
    5. ITO Takahiro & KUBOTA Kohei & OHTAKE Fumio, 2014. "The Hidden Curriculum and Social Preferences," Discussion papers 14024, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    6. Han Yu & Naci Mocan, 2018. "The Impact of High School Curriculum on Confidence, Academic Success, and Mental and Physical Well-Being of University Students," NBER Working Papers 24573, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Zhu, Hongjia & Deng, Yongheng & Zhu, Rong & He, Xiaobo, 2016. "Fear of nuclear power? Evidence from Fukushima nuclear accident and land markets in China," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 139-154.
    8. Alexander Cappelen & John List & Anya Samek & Bertil Tungodden, 2016. "The Effect of Early Education on Social Preferences," Framed Field Experiments 00584, The Field Experiments Website.
    9. repec:cep:stieop:57 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Davide Cantoni & David Y. Yang & Noam Yuchtman & Y. Jane Zhang, 2017. "Are Protests Games of Strategic Complements or Substitutes? Experimental Evidence from Hong Kong's Democracy Movement," NBER Working Papers 23110, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    schooling curricula; indoctrination; ideology; beliefs; China;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • P36 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Consumer Economics; Health; Education and Training; Welfare, Income, Wealth, and Poverty

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