Curriculum and Ideology

71 Pages Posted: 14 May 2014

See all articles by Davide Cantoni

Davide Cantoni

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Economics

Yuyu Chen

Peking University - Guanghua School of Management

David Yang

Stanford University - Department of Economics

Noam Yuchtman

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business

Y. Jane Zhang

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST)

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2014

Abstract

We study the causal effect of school curricula on students' stated beliefs and attitudes. We exploit a major textbook reform in China that was rolled out between 2004 and 2010 with the explicit intention of shaping youths' ideology. To measure its effect, we present evidence from a novel survey we conducted among 2000 students at Peking University. The sharp, staggered introduction of the new curriculum across provinces allows us to identify the effects of the new educational content in a generalized difference in differences framework. We examine government documents articulating desired consequences of the reform, and identify changes in textbook content and college entrance exams that reflect the government's aims. These changes were often effective: study under the new curriculum is robustly associated with changed views on political participation and democracy in China, increased trust in government officials, and a more skeptical view of free markets.

Suggested Citation

Cantoni, Davide and Chen, Yuyu and Yang, David and Yuchtman, Noam and Zhang, Y. Jane, Curriculum and Ideology (May 2014). NBER Working Paper No. w20112. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2436720

Davide Cantoni (Contact Author)

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Ludwigstrasse 28
Munich, D-80539
Germany

Yuyu Chen

Peking University - Guanghua School of Management ( email )

Peking University
Beijing, Beijing 100871
China

David Yang

Stanford University - Department of Economics ( email )

Landau Economics Building
579 Serra Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-6072
United States

Noam Yuchtman

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

545 Student Services Building, #1900
2220 Piedmont Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Y. Jane Zhang

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) ( email )

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