Inequality in Intergenerational Mobility of Education in China

Jane Golley, Tao (Sherry) Kong

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    This paper investigates trends in intergenerational patterns of educational attainment of those born in China between 1941 and 1990. Employing the 2008 Rural-Urban Migration in China and Indonesia Survey, we find that intergenerational correlation is lower in rural and migrant than in urban populations. The higher mobility observed in rural and migrant populations stems from the fact that the majority of these children complete only junior high school, with some children in the youngest cohorts moving down the education ladder relative to their parents. In contrast, urban children seem to at least maintain their parents' education level. The persistence of intergenerational transmission of education at high levels in urban areas combined with some mobility, upward or downward, in rural areas is likely to aggravate China's rural-urban disparity. Policies should focus more on the underlying gaps in education opportunities and the improvement in education of the rural and migrant populations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)15-37
    JournalChina and World Economy
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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