Abstract: Social interactions in infancy have implications for long-term outcomes. This study uses data from a sample of 1412 rural Chinese infants aged 6–12 and 24–30 months to examine the relationship between peer interactions and cognitive development. Over 75% of the infants in this sample had less than three peers and around 20% had no peers in both periods. The prevalence of cognitive delays is high within this sample and increases as infants age. Multivariate analysis reveals that peer interaction is significantly associated with cognitive development.
China’s rapid development and urbanization over the past 30 years have caused large numbers of rural residents to migrate to urban areas in search of work. This has created a generation of children who remain behind in rural areas when their parents migrate for work. Previous research has found mixed impacts of parental migration on the educational achievement of left-behind children (LBC), perhaps because of methodological deficiencies and lack of recognition of the heterogeneity of this population of children.
Abstract: Soil-transmitted helminths (STHs) infect over one billion people worldwide. There is concern that chronic infection with STHs among school-aged children may detrimentally affect their development, including their health, cognition, and education. However, two recent Cochrane reviews examining the impact of deworming drugs for STH on nutrition, hemoglobin, and school performance found that randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in the literature provide an insufficient evidence base to draw reliable conclusions.
Despite massive investments in teacher professional development (PD) programs in developing countries, there is little evidence on their effectiveness. We present the results of a large-scale, randomized evaluation of a high-profile PD program in China, in which teachers were randomized to receive PD; PD plus follow-up; PD plus evaluation of their command of the PD content; or no PD. Precise estimates indicate that PD and associated interventions failed to improve teacher and student outcomes.
Inequalities in college access are a major concern for policymakers in both developed and developing countries. Policymakers in China have largely tried to address these inequalities by helping disadvantaged students successfully transition from high school to college. However, they have paid less attention to the possibility that inequalities in college access may also arise earlier in the pathway to college. The purpose of this paper is to understandwhere inequalities emerge along the pathway to college in China, focusing on threemajor milestones after junior high. By analysing administrative data on over 300,000 students fromone region ofChina,we find that the largest inequalities in college access emerge at the first post-compulsory milestone along the pathway to college: when students transition from junior high to high school. Inparticular, only 60per cent of students frompoorcounties take the highschool entrance exam(comparedtonearly100 per centof students fromnon-poorcounties). Furthermore, students from poor counties are about one and a half times less likely toattendacademic highschoolandeliteacademic highschool thanstudents from non-poor counties.
There is a significant gap in academic achievement between rural and urban students in China. Policymakers have sought to close this gap by improving the quality of teaching in rural areas through teacher professional development (PD) programs. Despite billions of dollars in investment, however, there is limited evidence on the effectiveness of such programs. In this paper, we evaluate the impact of a PD program-National Teacher Training Program (NTTP) on the academic achievement of students in rural China.
China’s real GDP per capita has increased at a rate of nearly 9 percent annually since the start of its economic reforms in 1978, the fastest rate of growth that any large country has sustained for such a long period of time. Output is equal to the number of workers multiplied by productivity per worker. Thus, China’s dramatic growth can be broken down into the increases of the size of working-age labor force as a proportion of the population (or, in other words, the decrease of the dependency ratio) and improving labor productivity.
We present the results of a randomized trial testing the impact of providing free eyeglasses on academic outcomes of junior high school students in a poor rural area of western China. We find that providing free prescription eyeglasses approximately halves dropout rates over a school year among students who did not own eyeglasses at baseline. Effects on dropout are mirrored by improvements in student performance on standardized exams in math and aspirations for further schooling
Nearly a quarter of all children under the age of two in China are left behind in the countryside as parents migrate to urban areas for work. We use a longitudinal survey following young children and their caregivers from 6 to 30 months of age to estimate the effects of maternal migration on development, health, and nutritional outcomes in the critical first stages of life.We find significant negative effects on cognitive development and indicators of dietary quality.
The first years of life comprise a critical period for social-emotional development that has implications for lifelong outcomes. One factor that is thought to impact infant socialemotional development is parenting behavior and practices, such as reading to, singing to, and playing with their child. In this study we examine the situation of parenting practices and infant social-emotional development among a sample of 1,350 infants aged 18-30 months in rural Shaanxi Province, China.
The education of poor and disadvantaged populations has been a long-standing challenge for education systems in both developed and developing countries. Drawing on data from two randomised controlled trials involving two cohorts of grade 3 students in poor rural minority schools in China’s Qinghai province, this paper explores the effects of computer-assisted learning (CAL) on student academic and non-academic outcomes for underserved student populations, and how interactions between the CAL programme and existing classroom resources affect the programme effectiveness. Results show that CAL could have significant beneficial effects on both student academic and non-academic outcomes. However, when the scope of the programme expanded to include a second subject (in this case, math – which was added on top of the Mandarin subject matter that was the focus of the first phase of the programme), some schools had to use regular school hours for CAL sessions. As a result, the phase II programme did not generate any (statistically) significant improvement over the first phase.
The purpose of this paper is to describe the trends in residential solid waste collection (RSWC) services in rural China over the past decade and analyze the determinants of these services using nationally representative data.
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to produce a high-quality measure of the nature of healthcare resources available in China’s Township Health Centers (THCs), paying particular attention to equity between high- and low-income areas.
Design/methodology/approach – This study makes use of data from a nearly nationally representative survey in rural China conducted by the Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2011. The samples of towns were selected randomly from 25 counties located in five provinces from different regions of China. Data were collected through questionnaires and direct observation.
Findings – The THCs located in rich areas have higher levels of human resources than poor areas. THCs in rich areas also have more fixed assets than those in poor areas. In fact, even though the Chinese Ministry of Health mandates that all THCs have certain basic levels of medical equipment and facilities, many THCs in poor areas do not have them. The allocation of mandated equipment is unequal.
Practical implications – These findings suggest that China’s government should pay more attention to THCs located in poor areas, especially in light of new initiatives to improve health care in poor rural areas.
Originality/value – This is the first nationally representative study to employ rigorous empirics to investigate the extent of inequality in allocation of resources within THCs across China.
Keywords China, Health, Inequality, Rural development, Medical resources, Township health centers
Paper type Research paper
Purpose: The need for a universal rural pension system has been heightened by demographic changes in rural China, including the rapid aging of the nation’s rural population and a dramatic decline in fertility. In response to these changes, China’s Government introduced the New Rural Social Pension Program (NRSPP) in 2009, a voluntary and highly subsidized pension scheme. The purpose of this paper is to assess the participation of rural farmers in the NRSPP. Furthermore, the authors examine whether the NRSPP affects the labor supply of the elderly population in China.
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 controlled trial was carried out in 351 villages in Shaanxi province in 2013-14. We enrolled children aged 6-12 months in target villages. Each village/cluster was randomly assigned into one of three groups: Free Delivery Group (FDG; caregivers received free micronutrient packets); Text Messaging Group (TMG; FDG treatment plus daily text message); and Control Group. We collected information on compliance with treatments and hemoglobin concentrations from all children at baseline and 6-month follow-up. We estimated the intent-to-treat (ITT) effects on compliance and child anemia using a logistic regression model, controlling for infant, caregiver and household characteristics.
Results: There were 1393 eligible children. We found that assignment to TMG led to an increase full compliance (marginal effect = 0.10, 95% CI = 0.03, 0.16) and decrease in the rate of anemia at endline (marginal effect=-0.07, 95% CI= -0.12, -0.01).
Conclusions: Text messages improved compliance of caregivers to a home fortification program and children’s nutrition.
Abstract: The goal of the present paper is to examine how the expansion of the economy from 2000 has affected rural off-farm labor market participation. Specifically, we seek to determine whether off-farm labor increased after 2000, what forms of employment are driving trends in off-farm labor and whether gender differences can be observed in offfarm employment trends.
Abstract: We present results of a randomized trial testing alternative approaches of mapping student achievement into rewards for teachers. Teachers in 216 schools in western China were assigned to performance pay schemes where teacher performance was assessed by one of three different methods. We find that teachers offered “pay-for-percentile” incentives (Barlevy and Neal 2012) outperform teachers offered simpler schemes based on class average achievement or average gains over a school year.
The purpose of this paper is to measure the turnover (or stability in employment) of village clinicians in rural China over the past decade. The authors also want to provide quantitative evidence on the individual characteristics of the clinicians who provide health care to villagers in rural China and whether we should expect these individuals to be interested in continuing to supply quality health care in China’s villages in the coming years.
The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effect of adult children migration on the health status of elderlyparents. Increased labor migration in developing countries that lack adequate social security systems and institutionalized care for the elderly is a phenomenon that is important to understand. When their adultchildren go away to work, it is not clear what effect there will be on “left-behind” elderly parents.
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 delivered. The paper presents subjective evaluations of training for principals and teachers using four diverse datasets. The results show that the National Teacher Training Project (NTTP) deviates from offi cial policy objectives in several respects. The subjects of training programs and training content are not fully compliant with policy objectives. In addition, training opportunities are offered to a smaller proportion of rural teachers than urban teachers. It is found that the proportion of teachers and principals satisfied with the NTTP is lower than that for other types of training. Therefore, measures should be taken to increase training opportunities for rural teachers and to ensure the quality of training for all teachers.