College Education and the Poor in China: Documenting the Hurdles to Educational Attainment and College Matriculation

Asia Pacific Education Review, Vol. 12 No. 4, page(s) 533–546

Posted: 9 Apr 2013

See all articles by Xiaobing Wang

Xiaobing Wang

Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)

Chengfang Liu

Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)

Linxiu Zhang

Chinese Academy of Sciences - Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy

Renfu Luo

Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) - Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy (CCAP)

Thomas Glauben

Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO)

Yaojiang Shi

Shaanxi Normal University

Scott Rozelle

Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute of International Studies

Brian Sharbono

Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

Date Written: December 1, 2011

Abstract

Although universities have expanded in size, it is unclear if the poor have benefited. If there are high returns to college education, then increasing access of the poor to college has important welfare implications. The objective of this paper is to document the rates of enrollment into college of the poor and to identify the hurdles to doing so. Relying on several sets of data, including a survey of college students from universities in three poor provinces in China, we have found that the college matriculation rate of the poor is substantially lower than students from non-poor families; the same is true for rural women and minorities. Clearly, there are barriers that are keeping the rural poor out. The paper also demonstrates that the real hurdles are not during the years of secondary schooling or at the time of admissions to college. The real impediments keeping the rural poor from pursuing a college education arise long before high school — as early as preschool and elementary school years — and are present throughout the entire schooling system.

Keywords: Education, Asia-Pacific, China

Suggested Citation

Wang, Xiaobing and Liu, Chengfang and Zhang, Linxiu and Luo, Renfu and Glauben, Thomas and Shi, Yaojiang and Rozelle, Scott and Sharbono, Brian, College Education and the Poor in China: Documenting the Hurdles to Educational Attainment and College Matriculation (December 1, 2011). Asia Pacific Education Review, Vol. 12 No. 4, page(s) 533–546. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2247056

Xiaobing Wang (Contact Author)

Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) ( email )

52 Sanlihe Rd.
Datun Road, Anwai
Beijing, Xicheng District 100864
China

Chengfang Liu

Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) ( email )

52 Sanlihe Rd.
Datun Road, Anwai
Beijing, Xicheng District 100864
China

Linxiu Zhang

Chinese Academy of Sciences - Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy ( email )

Anwai, Beijing, 100101
China

Renfu Luo

Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) - Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy (CCAP) ( email )

Building 917, Datun Road
Beijing 100101
China

Thomas Glauben

Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO) ( email )

Theodor-Lieser-Str.2
Halle, 06120
Germany

Yaojiang Shi

Shaanxi Normal University ( email )

Chang'an Chang'an District
199 South Road
Xi'an, Shaanxi Province 710062
China

Scott Rozelle

Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute of International Studies ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Brian Sharbono

Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

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