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Does vocational education pay off in China? Instrumental-variable quantile-regression evidence


  • Dai, Li
  • Martins, Pedro S.


As China's firms upgrade their position in the quality ladder, vocational education may become more important. In this paper, we study returns to secondary vocational education in China paying attention to individual heterogeneity. We use instrumental variables based on geographical and longitudinal changes in enrolment to address the selection between the two types of education. We find that vocational education provides a wage premium vis-à-vis academic education of over 30% but which applies only for individuals at the middle of the conditional wage distribution.

Suggested Citation

  • Dai, Li & Martins, Pedro S., 2020. "Does vocational education pay off in China? Instrumental-variable quantile-regression evidence," GLO Discussion Paper Series 495, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:495

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    More about this item


    Human capital; vocational education; quantile treatment effects;

    JEL classification:

    • I26 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Returns to Education
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • C36 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Instrumental Variables (IV) Estimation


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