Are the Children of Uneducated Farmers Doubly Disadvantaged? Farm, Nonfarm and Intergenerational Educational Mobility in Rural China

66 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by M. Shahe Emran

M. Shahe Emran

George Washington University - Department of Economics

Yan Sun

World Bank

Date Written: October 26, 2015

Abstract

This paper relaxes the single-factor model of intergenerational educational mobility and analyzes heterogeneous effects of family background on children?s education in villages, with a focus on the role of nonfarm occupations. The analysis uses data from rural China that cover three generations, and are not subject to coresident sample selection. Evidence from a battery of econometric approaches shows that the mean effects of parents? education miss substantial heterogeneity across farm-nonfarm occupations. Having nonfarm parents, in general, has positive effects, but children of low educated non-farmer parents (with higher income) do not enjoy any advantages over the children of more educated farmer parents. Estimates of cross-partial effects without imposing functional form show little evidence of complementarity between parental education and nonfarm occupation. The role of family background remains relatively stable across generations for girls, but for boys, family background has become more important after the market reform. The paper explores causality using three approaches: Rosenbaum sensitivity analysis, minimum biased inverse propensity weighted estimator, and heteroscedasticity-based identification. The analysis results suggest that the advantages of having more educated parents, especially with nonfarm occupations, are unlikely to be due solely to selection on genetic transmissions. However, the estimated positive effects of nonfarm over farmer parents among the low educated households may be driven entirely by moderate selection on genetic endowment.

Keywords: Education For All, Education and Society, Social Inclusion & Institutions, Population & Development, Primary Education

Suggested Citation

Emran, M. Shahe and Sun, Yan, Are the Children of Uneducated Farmers Doubly Disadvantaged? Farm, Nonfarm and Intergenerational Educational Mobility in Rural China (October 26, 2015). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 7459. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2680471

M. Shahe Emran (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Department of Economics ( email )

2115 G Street NW
302 Monroe Hall
Washington, DC 20052
United States

Yan Sun

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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