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Class Origin, Family Culture, and Intergenerational Correlation of Education in Rural China

Author

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  • Hiroshi Sato
  • Li Shi

Abstract

This paper examines the intergenerational correlation of education in rural China. The focus is on the influence of family class origin (jiating chengfen), the political label hung on every family throughout the Maoist era. A nationally representative cross-sectional household survey for 2002 is used. It is shown that the effects of family class origin on family members' educational attainment varies across historical periods. Regarding the educational level of male heads of household with landlord/rich peasant background, we found a drop caused by the class-based discrimination in the Maoist era and a rebound in the postreform era. It was also found that family class origin remains significant for the educational achievement of the current younger generation. Children aged 16-18 who are of landlord/rich peasant and middle peasant origins are more likely to achieve higher educational attainment. We conclude that a class-specific, education-oriented family culture has been shaped first as a mixture of family cultural capital inherited from the pre-Maoist era and surfacing again in the postreform era, and, second, as intergenerational cultural reaction against class-based discrimination during the Maoist era.

Suggested Citation

  • Hiroshi Sato & Li Shi, 2008. "Class Origin, Family Culture, and Intergenerational Correlation of Education in Rural China," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd08-007, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:hst:ghsdps:gd08-007
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    File URL: http://gcoe.ier.hit-u.ac.jp/research/discussion/2008/pdf/gd08-007.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Zhao Chen & Shiqing Jiang & Ming Lu & Hiroshi Sato, 2008. "How Do Heterogeneous Social Interactions Affect the Peer Effect in Rural-Urban Migration?: Empirical Evidence from China," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd08-008, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    2. Chen, Yuyu & Naidu, Suresh & Yu, Tinghua & Yuchtman, Noam, 2015. "Intergenerational mobility and institutional change in 20th century China," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 44-73.
    3. repec:spr:soinre:v:134:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1421-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Emran, M. Shahe & Sun, Yan, 2014. "Are the Children of Uneducated Farmers Doubly Doomed? Farm, Nonfarm and Intergenerational Educational Mobility in Rural China," MPRA Paper 59230, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Zhao Chen & Ming Lu & Hiroshi Sato, 2009. "Social Networks and Labor Market Entry Barriers: Understanding Inter-industrial Wage Differentials in Urban China," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd09-084, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    education; intergenerational correlation; class origin; family culture; social discrimination;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • N35 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Asia including Middle East
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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