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Impacts of boarding on primary school students’ mental health outcomes – Instrumental-Variable evidence from rural northwestern China

Qihui Chen (), Yu Chen and Qiran Zhao

Economics & Human Biology, 2020, vol. 39, issue C

Abstract: This paper estimates the impacts of boarding on primary school students’ health outcomes, using data on 7606 students from rural areas of two northwestern provinces (Qinghai and Ningxia) of China. Exogenous variations in students’ home-to-school distance are exploited to address potential endogeneity in their boarding status. Instrumental variable estimates suggest that while boarding has little impact on students’ physical health (measured by height-for-age and BMI-for-age z-scores and hemoglobin concentration levels), it has a significantly detrimental effect on their mental health status, amounting to 0.455 standard deviations (SDs) of the distribution of scores on a Mental Health Test (a modified version of the Children’s Manifest Anxiety Scale). The effect of boarding is more pronounced for students with relatively advantageous backgrounds. For example, boarding boys scored 0.544 SDs higher on the Mental Health Test (suggesting more anxiety problems) than nonboarding boys, and boarders from relatively wealthier families scored 0.754 SDs higher than wealthier nonboarders. ‘

Keywords: Boarding school; Mental health; Physical health; Rural China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I10 I20 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:39:y:2020:i:c:s1570677x20301908

DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2020.100920

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