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Migrant Opportunity and the Educational Attainment of Youth in Rural China

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In this paper, we investigate how reductions of barriers to migration affect the decision of middle school graduates to attend high school in rural China. Change in the cost of migration is identified using exogenous variation across counties in the timing of national identity card distribution, which make it easier for rural migrants to register as temporary residents in urban destinations. We make use of a large panel household and village data set supplemented by an original follow-up survey, and find a robust negative relationship between migrant opportunity and high school enrollment. This effect is consistent with our finding of low returns to high school education among migrants from surveyed villages.

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File URL: http://web.williams.edu/Economics/wp/debrauwadjg1final.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Williams College in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number 2005-05.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2005
Handle: RePEc:wil:wileco:2005-05
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