Unequal Access to College in China: How Far Have Poor, Rural Students Been Left Behind?

Posted: 14 Jul 2013

See all articles by Li Hongbin

Li Hongbin

Tsinghua University

Prashant Kumar Loyalka

Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies

Scott Rozelle

Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute of International Studies

Binzhen Wu

Tsinghua University - School of Economics & Management

Jieyu Xie

Tsinghua University - School of Economics & Management

Date Written: July 13, 2013

Abstract

In the 1990s, poor, rural youth in China had limited access to college. After mass college expansion started in 1998, however, it was unclear whether poor, rural youth would gain greater access. The goal of our paper is to examine the gap in college and elite college access between poor, rural youth and other students after expansion. We estimate the gaps in access using data on all students who took the college entrance exam in 2003. Our results show that gaps in access remained high even after expansion. Poor, rural youth were seven and 11 times less likely to access any college and elite Project 211 colleges than urban youth. Much larger gaps existed for disadvantaged subgroups of poor, rural youth. We also find that the gaps in college access were driven by rural-urban differences rather than differences between poor and non-poor counties within rural or urban areas.

Keywords: Inequality; College Access; Rural; Poor; China; College Expansion

Suggested Citation

Hongbin, Li and Loyalka, Prashant and Rozelle, Scott and Wu, Binzhen and Xie, Jieyu, Unequal Access to College in China: How Far Have Poor, Rural Students Been Left Behind? (July 13, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2293344

Li Hongbin (Contact Author)

Tsinghua University ( email )

Beijing, 100084
China

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

Binzhen Wu

Tsinghua University - School of Economics & Management ( email )

School of Economics and Management
Tsinghua University
Beijing, Beijing 100084
China

Jieyu Xie

Tsinghua University - School of Economics & Management ( email )

Beijing, 100084
China

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