The Impact of Vocational Schooling on Human Capital Development in Developing Countries: Evidence from China

70 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Prashant Kumar Loyalka

Prashant Kumar Loyalka

Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies

Xiaoting Huang

Peking University

Linxiu Zhang

Chinese Academy of Sciences - Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy

Jianguo Wei

Peking University

Hongmei Yi

School of Advanced Agricultural Sciences, Peking University

Yingquan Song

Peking University

Yaojiang Shi

Shaanxi Normal University

James Chu

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

Date Written: August 18, 2015

Abstract

A number of developing countries are currently promoting vocational education and training (VET) as a way to build human capital and strengthen economic growth. The primary aim of this study is to understand whether VET at the high school level contributes to human capital development in one of those countries?China. To fulfill this aim, a longitudinal data on more than 10,000 students in vocational high school (in the most popular major, computing) and academic high school from two provinces of China are used. First, estimates from instrumental variables and matching analyses show that attending vocational high school (relative to academic high school) substantially reduces math skills and does not improve computing skills. Second, heterogeneous effect estimates also show that attending vocational high school increases dropout, especially among disadvantaged (low-income or low-ability) students. Third, vertically scaled (equated) baseline and follow-up test scores are used to measure gains in math and computing skills among the students. The results show that students who attend vocational high school experience absolute reductions in math skills. Taken together, the findings suggest that the rapid expansion of vocational schooling as a substitute for academic schooling can have detrimental consequences for building human capital in developing countries such as China.

Keywords: Educational Sciences

Suggested Citation

Loyalka, Prashant and Huang, Xiaoting and Zhang, Linxiu and Wei, Jianguo and Yi, Hongmei and Song, Yingquan and Shi, Yaojiang and Chu, James, The Impact of Vocational Schooling on Human Capital Development in Developing Countries: Evidence from China (August 18, 2015). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 7396. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2647156

Prashant Loyalka (Contact Author)

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

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Xiaoting Huang

Peking University ( email )

No. 38 Xueyuan Road
Haidian District
Beijing, Beijing 100871
China

Linxiu Zhang

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

Anwai, Beijing, 100101
China

Jianguo Wei

Peking University ( email )

No. 38 Xueyuan Road
Haidian District
Beijing, Beijing 100871
China

Hongmei Yi

School of Advanced Agricultural Sciences, Peking University ( email )

Room 412, Wangkezhen Buidling, Peking Unviersity
Beijing, 100871
China

Yingquan Song

Peking University ( email )

No. 38 Xueyuan Road
Haidian District
Beijing, Beijing 100871
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

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