IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Anwar Shah & Qinghua Zhang & Heng-fu Zou, 2005. "Regional Disparities of Educational Attainment in China," CEMA Working Papers 192, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:cuf:wpaper:192

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    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. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cuf:wpaper:192. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Qiang Gao). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.