Human Resources in China: The Birth Quota, Returns to Schooling, and Migration

23 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2004

See all articles by T. Paul Schultz

T. Paul Schultz

Yale University - Economic Growth Center; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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The rural elderly in China have 40% of the income of the urban elderly, spend a larger share of their income on food, are in worse health, work later into their lives and depend more on their children, lacking pensions and public services. The birth quota since 1980 has particularly restricted the childbearing of rural, less educated, women, who therefore have fewer children to rely on for support. This inequality is reinforced by increasing returns to schooling, especially beyond secondary school. Government restrictions on rural-urban migration reduces national efficiency, adds to the urban-rural wage gap and increases inequality.

Suggested Citation

Schultz, T. Paul, Human Resources in China: The Birth Quota, Returns to Schooling, and Migration. Available at SSRN:

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