Revisit the Real Impact of China’s Send-down Movement on Rural Education

32 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2021

See all articles by Guan Gong

Guan Gong

Shanghai University of Finance and Economics

Gordon Liu

Peking University - National School of Development

Ding Lu

ShanghaiTech University - School of Entrepreneurship and Management; University of the Fraser Valley

James G. Wen

Trinity college; Trinity College

Huizhong Zhou

Western Michigan University

Date Written: June 30, 2021

Abstract

Chen et al. (2020) claim a positive causal effect of the send-down movement on rural education during China’s Cultural Revolution. Their result hinges on a highly sensitive key variable: education attained by the treatment cohorts, which is found to be treated with upward bias and inconsistently coded. We show that when these errors are corrected, the claimed positive effect is substantially diminished or even turns negative. Using Chen et al.’s original data and model, our analysis reveals that the send-down movement actually increased rural illiteracy rate, which raises serious concerns about the robustness and policy implications of their findings.

Keywords: send-down movement, rural education, human capital

JEL Classification: I25, O15, R23

Suggested Citation

Gong, Guan and Liu, Gordon and Lu, Ding and Wen, James G. and Zhou, Huizhong, Revisit the Real Impact of China’s Send-down Movement on Rural Education (June 30, 2021). ShanghaiTech SEM Working Paper No. 2021-005, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3876228 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3876228

Guan Gong

Shanghai University of Finance and Economics ( email )

777 Guoding Road
Shanghai, AK Shanghai 200433
China

Gordon Liu

Peking University - National School of Development ( email )

Beijing, 100871
China

Ding Lu (Contact Author)

ShanghaiTech University - School of Entrepreneurship and Management ( email )

393 Huaxia Middle Rd
Pudong Xinqu, Shanghai
China

University of the Fraser Valley ( email )

33844 King Road
Abbotsford, BC V2S7M8
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.ufv.ca/economics/faculty-and-staff/

James G. Wen

Trinity college ( email )

300 Summit St.
Hartford, CT
United States

Trinity College ( email )

300 Summit Street
Hartford, CT 06106
United States

Huizhong Zhou

Western Michigan University ( email )

Kalamazoo, MI 49008
United States

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