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Effects of school closure on household labor supply: Evidence from rural China

Gang Xie and Lei Zhang

China Economic Review, 2022, vol. 71, issue C

Abstract: This paper studies the effects of school closure on household labor supply exploiting China's large-scale rural primary school closing during the early 2000s. Using CHNS 1991–2011 and CHIP 2007–2008 datasets and a difference-in-differences approach, we find that school closure significantly increases the total annual income of mothers of primary school-aged children, which comes virtually entirely from increases in wage income, due to more participation, more working hours, and higher wage rates. This significant positive effect can plausibly be attributed to their migration responses: mothers engage in temporary rural-urban migration to care for children following school closure. We find no effects on fathers' income and migration behavior. Our study provides the first causal estimation of the impacts of school closure on household labor supply and sheds light on the migration decision-making of rural females.

Keywords: School closure; Childcare; Household labor supply; Migration; Rural China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I25 I28 J22 J61 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2021.101737

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China Economic Review is currently edited by B.M. Fleisher, K. X. D. Huang, M.E. Lovely, Y. Wen, X. Zhang and X. Zhu

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