Inequality in Intergenerational Mobility of Education in China

23 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2013

See all articles by Jane Golley

Jane Golley

Australian National University (ANU) - Faculty of Economics & Commerce; Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy

Sherry Tao Kong

Peking University

Date Written: March‐April 2013

Abstract

This paper investigates trends in intergenerational patterns of educational attainment of those born in China between 1941 and 1990. Employing the 2008 Rural–Urban Migration in China and Indonesia Survey, we find that intergenerational correlation is lower in rural and migrant than in urban populations. The higher mobility observed in rural and migrant populations stems from the fact that the majority of these children complete only junior high school, with some children in the youngest cohorts moving down the education ladder relative to their parents. In contrast, urban children seem to at least maintain their parents’ education level. The persistence of intergenerational transmission of education at high levels in urban areas combined with some mobility, upward or downward, in rural areas is likely to aggravate China's rural–urban disparity. Policies should focus more on the underlying gaps in education opportunities and the improvement in education of the rural and migrant populations.

Keywords: educational attainment, inequality, intergenerational persistence and mobility

JEL Classification: I24, R00, R20

Suggested Citation

Golley, Jane and Kong, Sherry Tao, Inequality in Intergenerational Mobility of Education in China (March‐April 2013). China & World Economy, Vol. 21, Issue 2, pp. 15-37, 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2236514 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-124X.2013.12013.x

Jane Golley (Contact Author)

Australian National University (ANU) - Faculty of Economics & Commerce ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601
Australia

Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy

ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
J.G. Crawford Building, #132, Lennox Crossing
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

Sherry Tao Kong

Peking University ( email )

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