Ability Tracking and Social Capital in China's Rural Secondary School System

LICOS Discussion Paper 379/2016

54 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2016

See all articles by Fan Li

Fan Li

KU Leuven - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance (LICOS)

Prashant Kumar Loyalka

Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies

Hongmei Yi

School of Advanced Agricultural Sciences, Peking University

Yaojiang Shi

Shaanxi Normal University

Natalie Johnson

Stanford University

Scott Rozelle

Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute of International Studies

Date Written: July 2016

Abstract

The goal of this paper is describe and analyze the relationship between ability tracking and student social capital, in the context of poor students in developing countries. Drawing on the results from a longitudinal study among 1,436 poor students across 132 schools in rural China, we find a significant lack of interpersonal trust and confidence in public institutions among poor rural young adults. We also find that there is a strong correlation between ability tracking during junior high school and levels of social capital. The disparities might serve to further widen the gap between the relatively privileged students who are staying in school and the less privileged students who are dropping out of school.

This result suggests that making high school accessible to more students would improve social capital in the general population.

Keywords: Ability Tracking, Social Capital, Interpersonal Trust, Confidence in Public Institutions, Rural Secondary Schooling

Suggested Citation

Li, Fan and Loyalka, Prashant and Yi, Hongmei and Shi, Yaojiang and Johnson, Natalie and Rozelle, Scott, Ability Tracking and Social Capital in China's Rural Secondary School System (July 2016). LICOS Discussion Paper 379/2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2811010 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2811010

Fan Li (Contact Author)

KU Leuven - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance (LICOS) ( email )

Waaistraat 6 - box 3511
Leuven, 3000
Belgium

Prashant Loyalka

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

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Hongmei Yi

School of Advanced Agricultural Sciences, Peking University ( email )

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

Yaojiang Shi

Shaanxi Normal University ( email )

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

Natalie Johnson

Stanford University ( 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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