Social Inequality in Child Educational Development in China

Airan Liu , Peking University
Wangyang Li
Yu Xie, Princeton University

Nearly all past studies on education inequality have examined the relationship between family and children’s educational achievement in Western countries. Very few have examined this question in East Asian countries such as China, which differs from Western countries profoundly. Capitalizing on data from the China Family Panel Studies, this study revisits a classical sociological question by investigating the relationship between family background and children’s educational achievement in China. We found that (1) hukou and geographic location are stronger determinants of children’s achievement in China than family characteristics such as income; (2) the effects of family non-monetary characteristics on children’s educational achievement are greater than those of family’s economic resources and processes. Our studies contribute to the current literature by broadening our understanding of the educational inequality in contemporary China and showing how the social determinants of education inequality varies across different social contexts.

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 Presented in Session 206. The Importance of Socioeconomic Status on Child Outcomes