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Impact of Interupted Education on Earnings: The Educational Cost of the Chinese Cultural revolution

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  • Xin Meng
  • Robert G Gregory

Abstract

Impact of school interruptions on earnings through lower subsequent educational attainment and lower quality of education is investigated using the Chinese Cultural Revolution as a natural experiment. During the Cultural Revolution, most schools in China stopped normal operation for 3 to 4 years, universities stopped normal student recruitment for an even longer period. Such large scale school interruptions reduced the opportunity of the cohort to obtain university degrees. We find that individuals who did not obtain a university degree becasue of the Cultural revolution on average lost 46 per cent of their potential earnings. In addition most of the cohort experienced missed or interrupted schooling, at a given level of education and we show that this reduced earnings of degree holders of the Cultural Revolution cohort by 7.3 per cent on average. The findings in this paper also indicate that the quality of schooling affected earnings of individuals in a non-linear way, that is, only missed schooling at junior and senior high level reduced subsequent earnings and it only reduced earnings of those with degrees.

Suggested Citation

  • Xin Meng & Robert G Gregory, "undated". "Impact of Interupted Education on Earnings: The Educational Cost of the Chinese Cultural revolution," Canadian International Labour Network Working Papers 40, McMaster University.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcm:cilnwp:40
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    File URL: http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/econ/rsrch/papers/CILN/cilnwp40.pdf
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    7. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1992. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 1-40, February.
    8. Andrea Ichino & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2004. "The Long-Run Educational Cost of World War II," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 57-86, January.
    9. Meng, Xin & Gregory, R G, 2002. "The Impact of Interrupted Education on Subsequent Educational Attainment: A Cost of the Chinese Cultural Revolution," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(4), pages 935-959, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Xin Meng & Kailing Shen & Sen Xue, 2010. "Economic Reform, Education Expansion, and Earnings Inequality for Urban Males in China, 1988-2007," CEPR Discussion Papers 639, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    2. Meng, Xin & Qian, Nancy, 2006. "The Long Run Health and Economic Consequences of Famine on Survivors: Evidence from China's Great Famine," CEPR Discussion Papers 5989, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Constant, Amelie & Meng, Jingzhou & Tien, Bienvenue & Zimmermann, Klaus F, 2011. "China's Latent Human Capital Investment: Achieving Milestones and Competing for the Top," CEPR Discussion Papers 8376, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Pia Orrenius & Madeline Zavodny & Emily Kerr, 2012. "Chinese Immigrants in the U.S. Labor Market: Effects of Post-Tiananmen Immigration Policy," International Migration Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 456-482, June.
    5. 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.
    6. Das Gupta, Monica & Ebenstein, Avraham & Sharygin, Ethan Jennings, 2010. "China's marriage market and upcoming challenges for elderly men," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5351, The World Bank.

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