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The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, Disruptions to Education, and the Returns to Schooling in Urban China

Author

Listed:
  • Albert Park

    () (Department of Economics, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
    Institute for Emerging Market Studies, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

  • John Giles

    () (The World Bank)

  • Meiyan Wang

    (Institute for Population and Labor Economics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)

Abstract

This paper provides new evidence on educational disruptions caused by the Cultural Revolution and identifies the returns to schooling in urban China by exploiting individual-level variation in the effects of city-wide disruptions to education. The return to college is estimated at 49.8% using a conventional Mincer-type specification and averages 37.1% using supply shocks as instruments and controlling for ability and school quality, suggesting that high-ability students select into higher education. Additional tests show that the results are unlikely to be driven by sample selection bias associated with migration or alternative pathways through which the Cultural Revolution influenced adult productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Albert Park & John Giles & Meiyan Wang, 2015. "The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, Disruptions to Education, and the Returns to Schooling in Urban China," HKUST IEMS Working Paper Series 2015-21, HKUST Institute for Emerging Market Studies, revised Mar 2015.
  • Handle: RePEc:hku:wpaper:201521
    as

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    File URL: http://iems.ust.hk/assets/publications/working-papers-2015/iemswp2015-21.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Harold Alderman & John Hoddinott & Bill Kinsey, 2006. "Long term consequences of early childhood malnutrition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(3), pages 450-474, July.
    2. Yi Fan, 2017. "Does Adversity Affect Long-Term Consumption and Financial Behaviour? Evidence from China's Rustication Programme," ERES eres2017_148, European Real Estate Society (ERES).
    3. Hongbin Li & Mark Rosenzweig & Junsen Zhang, 2010. "Altruism, Favoritism, and Guilt in the Allocation of Family Resources: Sophie's Choice in Mao's Mass Send-Down Movement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(1), pages 1-38, February.
    4. Mark Hoekstra & Pierre Mouganie & Yaojing Wang, 2018. "Peer Quality and the Academic Benefits to Attending Better Schools," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(4), pages 841-884.
    5. Fleisher, Belton M. & Sabirianova, Klara & Wang, Xiaojun, 2005. "Returns to skills and the speed of reforms: Evidence from Central and Eastern Europe, China, and Russia," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 351-370, June.
    6. Le Wang, 2013. "How Does Education Affect the Earnings Distribution in Urban China?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 75(3), pages 435-454, June.
    7. Xue, Melanie Meng & Koyama, Mark, 2018. "Autocratic Rule and Social Capital: Evidence from Imperial China," MPRA Paper 84249, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Meng, Xin & Qian, Nancy, 2006. "The Long Run Health and Economic Consequences of Famine on Survivors: Evidence from China’s Great Famine," IZA Discussion Papers 2471, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Ismail, Ramlee, 2007. "The Impact of Schooling Reform on Returns to Education in Malaysia," MPRA Paper 15021, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 29 Jan 2008.
    10. Zhong, Hai, 2016. "Effects of quantity of education on health: A regression discontinuity design approach based on the Chinese Cultural Revolution," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 62-74.
    11. Yuanyuan Chen & Shuaizhang Feng, 2011. "Parental Education and Wages: Evidence from China," Frontiers of Economics in China, Higher Education Press, vol. 6(4), pages 568-591, December.
    12. Fan, Wen, 2016. "Turning point or selection? The effect of rustication on subsequent health for the Chinese Cultural Revolution cohort," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 68-77.
    13. SHI, Xinzheng, 2011. "Famine, fertility, and fortune in china," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 244-259, June.
    14. Zhong, Hai, 2011. "Returns to higher education in China: What is the role of college quality?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 260-275, June.
    15. repec:spr:soinre:v:134:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1421-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. de Walque, Damien, 2004. "The long-term legacy of the Khmer Rouge period in Cambodia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3446, The World Bank.
    17. Sheng, Liugang & Yang, Dennis T., 2017. "Offshoring and Wage Inequality: Theory and Evidence from China," IZA Discussion Papers 10924, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    18. Xin Meng & Nancy Qian, 2009. "The Long Term Consequences of Famine on Survivors: Evidence from a Unique Natural Experiment using China's Great Famine," NBER Working Papers 14917, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Alan De Brauw & Scott Rozelle, 2008. "Reconciling the Returns to Education in Off‐Farm Wage Employment in Rural China," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(1), pages 57-71, February.
    20. repec:taf:jocebs:v:15:y:2017:i:4:p:423-436 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Wang, Xiaojun & Fleisher, Belton M. & Li, Haizheng & Li, Shi, 2007. "Access to Higher Education and Inequality: The Chinese Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 2823, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    returns to schooling; wages; education; China;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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