Reconciling the Returns to Education in Off-Farm Wage Employment in Rural China

15 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2008

See all articles by Alan de Brauw

Alan de Brauw

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Scott Rozelle

University of California, Davis - Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Abstract

Previous studies have found that the returns to education in rural China are far lower than estimates for other developing economies. In this paper, we seek to determine why previous estimates are so low and provide estimates of what we believe are more accurate measures of the returns. Whereas estimates for the early 1990s average 2.3 percent, we find an average return of 6.4 percent. Furthermore, we find even higher returns among younger people, migrants, and for post-primary education. The paper demonstrates that, although part of the difference between our estimate and previous estimates can be attributed to increasing returns during the 1990s, a larger part of the difference is due to the nature of the data and the methodological approaches used by other authors.

Suggested Citation

de Brauw, Alan and Rozelle, Scott, Reconciling the Returns to Education in Off-Farm Wage Employment in Rural China. Review of Development Economics, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 57-71, February 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1083212 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9361.2007.00376.x

Alan De Brauw

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Scott Rozelle

University of California, Davis - Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics ( email )

One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
United States
530-752-9897 (Phone)

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