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Access to Public Schools and the Education of Migrant Children in China

Author

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  • Chen, Yuanyuan

    () (Shanghai University of Finance and Economics)

  • Feng, Shuaizhang

    () (Shanghai University of Finance and Economics)

Abstract

A significant proportion of migrant children in China are not able to attend public schools for lack of local household registration (HuKou), and turn to privately-operated migrant schools. This paper examines the consequences of such a partially involuntary school choice, using survey data and standardized test scores from field work conducted in Shanghai. We find that migrant students who are unable to enroll in public schools perform significantly worse than their more fortunate counterparts in both Chinese and Mathematics. We also use parental satisfaction and parental assessment of school quality as alternative measures of the educational outcome and find similar results. Our study suggests that access to public schools is the key factor determining the quality of education that migrant children receive.

Suggested Citation

  • Chen, Yuanyuan & Feng, Shuaizhang, 2012. "Access to Public Schools and the Education of Migrant Children in China," IZA Discussion Papers 6853, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6853
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Zhang, Xiaobo, 2006. "Fiscal decentralization and political centralization in China: Implications for growth and inequality," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 713-726, December.
    2. Cecilia Elena Rouse, 1998. "Private School Vouchers and Student Achievement: An Evaluation of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(2), pages 553-602.
    3. Yuyu Chen & Ginger Zhe Jin & Yang Yue, 2010. "Peer Migration in China," NBER Working Papers 15671, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Fan, Shenggen & Kanbur, Ravi & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2008. "Regional Inequality In China: An Overview," Working Papers 51157, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
    5. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Keueger, 1991. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 979-1014.
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    Cited by:

    1. Adolfo, Cristobal Campoamor, 2014. "The impact of China's hukou restrictions on the aggregate national saving," MPRA Paper 57983, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    education of migrant children; migrant school; standardized test score;

    JEL classification:

    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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