Unequal Access to College in China: How Far Have Poor, Rural Students Been Left Behind?
Posted: 14 Jul 2013
Date Written: July 13, 2013
In the 1990s, poor, rural youth in China had limited access to college. After mass college expansion started in 1998, however, it was unclear whether poor, rural youth would gain greater access. The goal of our paper is to examine the gap in college and elite college access between poor, rural youth and other students after expansion. We estimate the gaps in access using data on all students who took the college entrance exam in 2003. Our results show that gaps in access remained high even after expansion. Poor, rural youth were seven and 11 times less likely to access any college and elite Project 211 colleges than urban youth. Much larger gaps existed for disadvantaged subgroups of poor, rural youth. We also find that the gaps in college access were driven by rural-urban differences rather than differences between poor and non-poor counties within rural or urban areas.
Keywords: Inequality; College Access; Rural; Poor; China; College Expansion
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation