Impact of a Senior High School Tuition Relief Program on Poor Junior High School Students in Rural China

18 Pages Posted: 21 May 2013

See all articles by Xinxin Chen

Xinxin Chen

Zhejiang Gongshang University (ZJGSU)

Yaojiang Shi

Shaanxi Normal University

James Chu

Stanford University, Department of Sociology, Students; Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies

Di Mo

Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) - Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) - LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance

Prashant Kumar Loyalka

Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies

Scott Rozelle

Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute of International Studies

Date Written: May‐June 2013

Abstract

A significant gap remains between rural and urban students in the rate of admission to senior high school. One reason for this gap might be the high levels of tuition and fees for senior high school. By reducing students' expectations of attending high school, high levels of tuition and fees could be reducing student academic performance in junior high schools. In this paper we evaluate the impacts of a senior high tuition relief program on the test scores of poor rural seventh grade students in China. We surveyed three counties in Shaanxi Province and exploited the fact that, while the counties are adjacent to one another and share similar characteristics, only one of the three implemented a tuition relief program. Using several alternative estimation strategies, including difference‐in‐differences, propensity score matching and difference‐in‐differences matching, we find that the tuition program has a statistically significant and positive impact on the mathematics scores of seventh grade students. More importantly, this program is shown to have a statistically significant and positive effect on the poorest students in the treatment group compared to their wealthier peers.

Keywords: education program evaluation, rural China, tuition relief program

JEL Classification: I22, O12, O15

Suggested Citation

Chen, Xinxin and Shi, Yaojiang and Chu, James and Mo, Di and Loyalka, Prashant and Rozelle, Scott, Impact of a Senior High School Tuition Relief Program on Poor Junior High School Students in Rural China (May‐June 2013). China & World Economy, Vol. 21, Issue 3, pp. 80-97, 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2267691 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-124X.2013.12023.x

Xinxin Chen

Zhejiang Gongshang University (ZJGSU)

Zhejiang
China

Yaojiang Shi

Shaanxi Normal University ( email )

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

James Chu

Stanford University, Department of Sociology, Students ( email )

Stanford
United States

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

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Di Mo

Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) - Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) - LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance ( email )

Waaistraat 6 - box 3511
Leuven, 3000
Belgium

Prashant Loyalka

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

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Scott Rozelle

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

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

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