Education and Inequality: Lei Lei (Assistant Professor, Sociology, Rutgers University)

"The Impact of Neighborhood Environment on the Transition to High School in China: A Causal Analysis"
PSC Conference Room, 5th Fl. McNeil Bldg.
Thursday, November 29, 2018 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm

*Sponsored by the Korean Millennials Lab at the University of Pennsylvania

Geographic inequality in education has long been identified in the Chinese context, as studies have shown the urban-rural gap and cross-region differences in educational attainment. However, little is known about the community-level inequalities in access to educational opportunities in China. Using national-scale survey data from the China Family Panel Studies, this research examines the impact of community socioeconomic status (SES) on children’s transition into high school in both urban and rural China, and explores the possible mechanisms through which community SES is associated with children’s high school entrance. 

Generalized propensity score analysis is employed to remove biases associated with differences in covariates and to estimate the dose-response function. The results show that community SES is positively associated with the likelihood of transition to high school in both urban and rural China, while the effect is stronger in urban areas than in rural areas. The relationship between community SES and the odds of transition to high school is partially explained by community educational institutions and the process of collective socialization in urban China. Home learning environment plays a more important role in shaping educational attainment among rural children than among urban children.