The impact of a senior high school tuition relief program on poor junior high school students in rural China

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 high tuition and other school fees at the senior high school level. By reducing student expectations of attending high school, high tuition and school 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. We surveyed three counties in Shaanxi Province and exploit the fact that, while the counties are adjacent to one another and share similar characteristics, only one of the three implemented a tuition relief program. Using several alternative estimation strategies, including difference-in-differences (DD), difference-indifference- in-differences (DDD), propensity score matching (PSM) and difference-indifferences matching (DDM), we find that the tuition program has a statistically significant and positive impact on the math scores of seventh grade students. More importantly, this program is shown to have the largest (and only significant) impact on the poorest students.

Issue Date:
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
PURL Identifier:
Total Pages:
JEL Codes:
I22, O12, O15
Series Statement:

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-04-26

Download fulltext

Rate this document:

Rate this document:
(Not yet reviewed)