Children Left Behind in China: The Role of School Fees

63 Pages Posted: 11 Nov 2016 Last revised: 21 May 2020

See all articles by Hai-Anh Dang

Hai-Anh Dang

World Bank - Development Data Group (DECDG); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA); Global Labor Organization (GLO); Vietnam National University Ha Noi; Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) - Centre for Analysis and Forecasting

Yang Huang

World Bank

Harris Selod

National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA); National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) - Center for Research in Economics and Statistics (CREST); The World Bank; Paris School of Economics (PSE); World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

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Date Written: November 7, 2016

Abstract

The barriers faced by Chinese rural-urban migrants to access social services, particularly education, in host cities could help explain why the majority of migrants choose to leave their children behind. This paper proposes a theoretical framework that allows for an explicit discussion of the link between school fees and the decision of migrant parents to bring their children to the city. The analysis instruments the endogenous school fees with unexpected shocks to the city's public education spending, and empirically tests the theoretical predictions. The findings suggest that higher fees deter migrant workers from bringing their children, especially their daughters; reduce the number of children they bring; and increase educational remittances to rural areas for the children left behind. Increases in school fees most affect vulnerable migrant workers, and are likely to have stronger impacts during an economic crisis. These findings hold for different model specifications and robustness checks.

Keywords: Economics of Education, Education Finance, Educational Sciences, Employment and Unemployment, Public Sector Economics, Public Financial Management, Public Finance Decentralization and Poverty Reduction, Access of Poor to Social Services, Disability, Economic Assistance, Services & Transfers to Poor

Suggested Citation

Dang, Hai-Anh H. and Huang, Yang and Selod, Harris, Children Left Behind in China: The Role of School Fees (November 7, 2016). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 7881, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2867662

Hai-Anh H. Dang (Contact Author)

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