NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Returns to Education in China: Evidence from the 1986 Compulsory Education Law

Hai Fang, Karen N. Eggleston, John A. Rizzo, Scott Rozelle, Richard J. Zeckhauser

NBER Working Paper No. 18189
Issued in June 2012
NBER Program(s):   ED   LS

As China transforms from a socialist planned economy to a market-oriented economy, its returns to education are expected to rise to meet those found in middle-income established market economies. This study employs a plausible instrument for education: the China Compulsory Education Law of 1986. We use differences among provinces in the dates of effective implementation of the compulsory education law to show that the law raised overall educational attainment in China by about 0.8 years of schooling. We then use this instrumental variable to control for the endogeneity of education and estimate the returns to an additional year of schooling in 1997-2006. Results imply that the overall returns to education are approximately 20 percent per year on average in contemporary China, fairly consistent with returns found in most industrialized economies. Returns differ among subpopulations; they increase after controlling for endogeneity of education.

You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery.

Information about Free Papers

You should expect a free download if you are a subscriber, a corporate associate of the NBER, a journalist, an employee of the U.S. federal government with a ".GOV" domain name, or a resident of nearly any developing country or transition economy.

If you usually get free papers at work/university but do not at home, you can either connect to your work VPN or proxy (if any) or elect to have a link to the paper emailed to your work email address below. The email address must be connected to a subscribing college, university, or other subscribing institution. Gmail and other free email addresses will not have access.

E-mail:

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18189

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Heckman and Yi w18100 Human Capital, Economic Growth, and Inequality in China
Brown, Fang, and Gomes w18300 Risk and Returns to Education
Bordo and Haubrich w18194 Deep Recessions, Fast Recoveries, and Financial Crises: Evidence from the American Record
Martinez-Bravo, Padro i Miquel, Qian, and Yao w18101 Elections in China
Chi, Freeman, and Li w17721 Adjusting to Really Big Changes: The Labor Market in China, 1989-2009
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us