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Mother's education and child development: Evidence from the compulsory school reform in China

Ying Cui, Hong Liu () and Liqiu Zhao

Journal of Comparative Economics, 2019, vol. 47, issue 3, 669-692

Abstract: This paper investigates the causal impact of mother's schooling on various outcomes of adolescent development by exploiting the temporal and geographical variations in the enforcement of compulsory schooling laws in China. Using data from China Family Panel Studies, we find that mother's education increases adolescents’ school enrollment, math test scores, college aspiration, and internal locus of control related to education. Mother's education also improves adolescent mental health status and reduces the incidence of underweight. We also find considerable gender heterogeneity in the effects of mother's education. The results further indicate that mother's education leads to an increase in family resources for children and an improvement in maternal mental health and parenting, which we interpret as potential mechanisms behind our findings.

Keywords: Mother's education; School reforms; Child development; China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 I24 J13 J24 O15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2019.04.001

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