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Regional Disparities of Educational Attainment in China

  • Anwar Shah

    (The World Bank)

  • Qinghua Zhang

    (Guanghua School of Management, Peking University)

  • Heng-fu Zou

    (The World Bank)

This paper studies regional disparities of educational attainment in China. It explores the causes of the regional inequality of the educational investment measured by the enrolment rate at various school levels. It finds that the return to education, the governmental support and the financial constraint play an important role in generating differences in educational investment across regions. The empirical analysis of the paper also identifies different impacts of the support for education at different levels of government. Specifically, an increase of one standard deviation in the support for education at the level of the central government will raise the enrolment rates of the college, the senior high school and the primary school by 6.1, 7.0 and 7.5 percentage points, which is an increase of 140%, 32% and 9% compared to the sample mean enrolment rate, respectively. Contrastingly, although the ratio of the local government¡¯s educational expenditure to the local GDP has a marginally significant positive impact on the enrolment rate of the primary school, it has a significant and negative effect on the enrolment rates of both the senior high school and the junior high school.

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Paper provided by China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics in its series CEMA Working Papers with number 192.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cuf:wpaper:192
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cema.cufe.edu.cn/

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  1. Robert J. Barro, 2013. "Inflation and Economic Growth," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 14(1), pages 121-144, May.
  2. Kanbur, Ravi & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2001. "Fifty Years of Regional Inequality in China: A Journey through Revolution, Reform and Openness," CEPR Discussion Papers 2887, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. John Knight & Lina Song, 2003. "Increasing urban wage inequality in China," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 11(4), pages 597-619, December.
  4. Fleisher, Belton M. & Wang, Xiaojun, 2004. "Skill differentials, return to schooling, and market segmentation in a transition economy: the case of Mainland China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 315-328, February.
  5. Demurger, Sylvie, 2001. "Infrastructure Development and Economic Growth: An Explanation for Regional Disparities in China?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 95-117, March.
  6. Pedro Carneiro & Karsten T. Hansen & James J. Heckman, 2003. "Estimating Distributions of Treatment Effects with an Application to the Returns to Schooling and Measurement of the Effects of Uncertainty on College," NBER Working Papers 9546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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