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The long shadow of a large scale education interruption: The intergenerational effect

Xin Meng () and Guochang Zhao ()

Labour Economics, 2021, vol. 71, issue C

Abstract: During the Chinese Cultural Revolution of 1966–1976 city schools and universities were closed for many years. As a result, a large number of people from the relevant cohorts missed 1–8 years of schooling. We find that this large-scale schooling interruption has a strong negative effect on children’s educational attainment, and this effect is mainly through parental education rather than other channels. Using the education interruption as the instrument in an IV estimation, we find that one-year reduction of parental education because of the school interruptions during the CR reduced their children’s education level by 0.32 years and the probability of obtain a university degree by 4.1 percentage points or an 18% reduction relative to the average of the childrens generation. As human capital accumulation is one of the main drivers of economic development, these negative schooling shocks will have a long-term impact on economic development via intergenerational education transmission.

Keywords: Human capital; Intergenerational transmission; Cultural Revolution (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I24 I25 N3 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2021.102008

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