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FSI researchers work to understand continuity and change in societies as they confront their problems and opportunities. This includes the implications of migration and human trafficking. What happens to a society when young girls exit the sex trade? How do groups moving between locations impact societies, economies, self-identity and citizenship? What are the ethnic challenges faced by an increasingly diverse European Union? From a policy perspective, scholars also work to investigate the consequences of security-related measures for society and its values.

The Europe Center reflects much of FSI’s agenda of investigating societies, serving as a forum for experts to research the cultures, religions and people of Europe. The Center sponsors several seminars and lectures, as well as visiting scholars.

Societal research also addresses issues of demography and aging, such as the social and economic challenges of providing health care for an aging population. How do older adults make decisions, and what societal tools need to be in place to ensure the resulting decisions are well-informed? FSI regularly brings in international scholars to look at these issues. They discuss how adults care for their older parents in rural China as well as the economic aspects of aging populations in China and India.

Recent Scholarly Publications

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Unpacking Teacher Professional Development

April 2017

Abstract: Despite massive investments in teacher professional development (PD) programs in developing countries, there is little evidence on their effectiveness.

The Gender Gap in Math Performance, Self-Concept, and Anxiety: Rural and Urban China in an International Context

February 2017

Abstract: Evidence from developed countries shows that there is a significant gender gap in STEM occupations. Girls may begin to underperform in math early as primary school.

The Impact of Teacher Professional Development Programs on Student Achievement in Rural China

February 2017

Abstract:There is a significant gap in academic achievement between rural and urban students in China.

Rural Chinese Caregiver Attitudes, Parenting Behavior, and Developmental Delays in Children Aged 18-30 Months: Findings from Poor Counties

November 2016

Abstract:The absence of good parenting practices may affect children’s cognitive and motor development.

Parental Attitudes, Behavior and Developmental Delays in Children Aged 18-30 Months: Evidence from Rural China

November 2016

Abstract:The first years of life comprise a critical developmental period that has implications for lifelong outcomes.

Can Bureaucrats Really Be Paid like CEOs? School Administrator Incentives for Anemia Reduction in Rural China

November 2016

Abstract:A large literature examines performance pay for managers in the private sector, but little is known about performance pay for managers in public sector bureaucracies.

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

November 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.

Pay by Design: Teacher Performance Pay Design and the Distribution of Student Achievement

November 2016

Abstract:We present results of a randomized trial testing alternative approaches of mapping student achievement into rewards for teachers.

Teaching to the Tails: Teacher Performance Pay and the Distribution of Student Achievement

October 2016

Abstract:Growing evidence suggests that teachers in developing countries often have weak or misaligned incentives for improving student outcomes.

The Impact of Vocational Schooling on Human Capital Development in Developing Countries: Evidence from China

October 2016

AbstractA number of developing countries are currently promoting vocational education and training (VET) as a way to build human capital and strengthen economic growth.

Unequal Access to College in China: How Far Have Poor, Rural Students Been Left Behind?

October 2016

Abstract:In the 1990s, rural youth from poor counties in China had limited access to college.

More is not always better: evidence from a randomised experiment of computer-assisted learning in rural minority schools in Qinghai

September 2016

Abstract: The education of poor and disadvantaged populations has been a long-standing challenge for education systems in both developed and developing countries.

Who Drops Out From Primary Schools in China? Evidence From Minority-Concentrated Rural Areas

May 2016

Abstract: One of the Millennium Development Goals is to ensure universal access to primary education by 2015. However, primary school dropout remains a challenge in many developing countries.

Order Matters: The Effect of Second-Wave Migration on Student Academic Performance in Northwest China

May 2016

Abstract: The migration of hundreds of millions of workers from the Chinese countryside to the city has created a generation of Left Behind Children (or LBCs), who now number more than 60 million....

Effect of Parental Migration on the Academic Performance of Left-behind Children in Northwestern China

May 2016

Abstract:China’s rapid development and urbanization has induced large numbers of rural residents to migrate from their homes in the countryside to urban areas in search of higher wages.

Implementation of Teacher Training in China and Its Policy Implications

May 2016

Abstract:This study describes the current teacher training system in China, including the prevalence of teacher training, the types of training, training content and the ways that training is...

Maternal Health Services in China’s Western Rural Areas: Uptake and Correlates

May 2016

Abstract: PurposeMany public health systems have struggled with the dual questions of: why the uptake rate of maternal health (MH) services is low among some subpopulations; and how to raise it....

To Board or Not to Board: Evidence from Nutrition, Health and Education Outcomes of Students in Rural China

May 2016

Abstract: The debate over whether boarding school is benefi cial for students still exists in both developing and developed countries.

Educational Expectations and Dropout Behavior among Junior High Students in Rural China

May 2016

Abstract:The high level of dropout from junior high school is one of the most serious challenges facing the human capital development of the next generation of workers in China's rural areas.

Impact of Text Message Reminders on Caregivers’ Adherence to a Home Fortification Program Against Child Anemia in Rural Western China: a Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial

March 2016

Objectives: To test whether text message reminders sent to caregivers will improve the effectiveness of a home micronutrient fortification program in western China.Methods: A cluster-randomized...

Describing the Landscape of Teacher Training in China

March 2016

Abstract: The objective of this study is to describe the landscape of teacher training in China today.

Effects of Parental Migration on Mental Health of Left-Behind Children: Evidence from Northwestern China

March 2016

Abstract: China’s rapid development and urbanization has induced large numbers of rural residents to migrate from their homes in the countryside to urban areas in search of higher wages.

To Board or Not To Board? Comparing Nutrition, Health and Educational Outcomes Between Boarding and Non-Boarding Students in Rural China

March 2016

Abstract: The debate over whether boarding school is beneficial for students still exists in both developing and developed countries.

Gender and Self-Employment: Evidence from Rural China

March 2016

Abstract: The goal of this paper is to examine how has the expansion of the economy after 2000 affected rural off-farm labor market participation.


Prashant Loyalka Center Fellow
Xiangzhi Kong Affiliate
Renfu Luo Program Manager, REAP-China
Hongbin Li Affiliate
Xiaobing Wang Research Associate, REAP-China
Tao Li Affiliate
Yingquan Song Affiliate
Johan Swinnen Affiliate
Xiaopeng Pang Affiliate
Linxiu Zhang Director, REAP-China
Thomas Glauben Affiliate
Sean Sylvia Affiliated Faculty