This study uses a randomized controlled trial of a school-based anemia reduction program in rural China to examine how increased school emphasis on health promotion affects academic performance. Although education and health promotion are complementary functions of schools, they do compete for finite school resources. We compare the effects of a traditional program that provided only information about anemia and subsidies to an otherwise identical program that included performance incentives for school principals based on school-level anemia prevalence.
China’s 2010 census revealed a population of 1.34 billion, 50 percent urban, 13.3 percent above age sixty, and with 118.06 boys born for every 100 girls. In this article, we discuss how gender imbalance, population aging, and their interaction with rapid urbanization have shaped China’s reform era development and will strongly shape China’s future. These intertwined demographic changes pose an unprecedented challenge to social and economic governance, contributing to and magnifying the effects of a slower rate of economic growth.
Although preschool has been shown to improve children’s school readiness in many developing countries, preschool attendance in poor rural areas of China is low. Vouchers/conditional cash transfers (CCT), which help parents defray the cost of preschool, are one possible policy intervention to increase attendance. In this paper, we evaluate the impact of a voucher/CCT program on preschool attendance and school readiness. To do so, we conducted a randomized controlled trial among 150 children in a poor, rural county in China.
Can the BRIC university systems greatly increase the quantity of graduates in these developing countries and simultaneously achieve high enough quality to compete successfully at the higher end of the global knowledge economy?
Aiming to provide better education facilities and improve the educational attainment of poor rural students, China’s government has been merging remote rural primary schools to centralized village, town, or county schools since the late 1990s. To accompany the policy, boarding facilities have been constructed that allow (mandate) primary school-aged children to live at school rather than at home. More generally, there also have been efforts to improve rural schools, especially those in counties and towns.
This contribution documents the effect ofthe global financial crisis on women's off-farm employment in China's rural labor force. It begins by comparing the difference between the actual off-farm employment rate and the offfarm employment rate under the assumption of "business as usual" (BAU - a counterfactual of what off-farm employment would have been in the absence of the crisis). The study also examines how the impact of the financial crisis hit different segments of the rural off-farm labor market.
Recent studies have shown that only about two-thirds of the students from poor, rural areas in China finish junior high school and enter high school. One factor that may be behind the low rates of high school attendance is that students may be misinformed about the returns to schooling or lack career planning skills.
One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) is a high profile initiative to narrow the inequality of access to ICT and improve educational performance. However, there is little empirical evidence on its impacts. In order to assess the effectiveness of OLPC, we conducted a randomized experiment of OLPC with Chinese characteristics involving 300 third-grade students in Beijing migrant schools. Our results show that the program improved student computer skills by 0.33 standard deviations and math scores by 0.17 standard deviations.
The rapid expansion of enrollment capacity in China’s colleges since the late 1990s has come at the price of high tuition hikes. China’s government has put forth financial aid programs to enable poor students to access higher education. Although studies have shown that poor high school students are indeed able to attend college when their test scores are high enough (that is, few are unable to attend when they are qualified to attend), the literature has not explored whether poor students have sufficient amounts of aid to thrive in college.
Past studies find that disadvantaged students in the United States are often misinformed about college costs and financial aid opportunities and thus may make sub-optimal decisions regarding college. This information problem may be even more serious in developing countries. We therefore conducted a cluster-randomized controlled trial to examine the effects of providing information on college costs and financial aid to high school students in poor regions of northwest China. We find that information increases the likelihood that students receive some types of financial aid.
The education of disadvantaged populations has been a long-standing challenge to the education system in both developed and developing countries. Although computer-assisted learning (CAL) has been considered one alternative to improve learning outcomes in a cost-effective way, the empirical evidence of its impacts on improving learning outcomes is mixed.
This paper uses a clustered randomised field experiment to explore the effects of a computer assisted learning (CAL) programme on student academic and non-academic outcomes in poor, rural public schools in China. Our results show that a remedial, game-based CAL programme in math held outside of regular school hours with boarding students in poor rural public schools improved standardised math scores by 0.12 standard deviations. Students from poorer families tended to benefit more from the programme.
When seeking to build high quality and cost-effective infrastructure in rural villages, a fundamental question is: Who is better at doing so? Should the village leadership or a government agency above the village finance and/or manage the construction of the infrastructure project? To answer this question, we surveyed all rural road projects in 101 villages in rural China between 2003 and 2007 and measured the quality and per kilometer cost of each road. According to our analysis, road quality was higher when more of the project funds came from the government agency above.
PURPOSE. We assessed the prevalence and predictors of inaccurate refractive error among rural refractionists in western China.
METHODS. A subset of primary school children with visual acuity (VA) ≤6/12 in ≥ 1 eye, undergoing subjective refinement by local refractionists after cycloplegic autorefraction in an ongoing population-based study, received repeat refraction by university optometrists for quality control.
Background. Despite growing wealth and a strengthening commitment from the government to provide quality education, a significant share of students across rural China still have inadequate access to micronutrient-rich regular diets. Such poor diets can lead to nutritional problems, such as iron-deficiency anemia, that can adversely affect attention and learning in school. Large scale policies in Northwestern China have attempted to tackle these nutritional problems using eggs.
Officials in China claim that voting rates in rural village elections are high. Unfortunately, these rates are assumptions, not facts. The true voting rate is lower, and much lower for women. We postulate that this could be due to insufficient knowledge about their rights.
Although almost everyone agrees that there was gender inequality in China’s education system in the 1980s, the economics of education literature in China has mixed evidence on improvements in gender inequality in educational attainment over the past three decades. Some papers suggest gender inequality is still severe; others report progress. We seek to understand the progress China has made (if any) in reducing gender inequality in education since the 1980s.
Experts agree that computers and computing play an important role in education. Since the 1980s there has been a debate about gender as it relates to computers and education. However, results regarding gender differences concerning computer use in education are not consistent. In particular there is little work done in China on this issue. Therefore, the overall goal of this paper is to demonstrate whether girls and boys can gain equally from computer-based education in China’s elementary schools.
A significant gap remains between rural and urban students in the rate of admission to senior high school. One reason for this gap may be the high levels of tuition and fees for senior high school. By reducing student expectations of attending high school, high tuition and fees can reduce student academic performance in junior high school. In this paper we evaluate the impact of a senior high tuition relief program on the test scores of poor, rural seventh grade students in China.