【主题】Every People’s Commune Builds a Middle School: The Effects of a Massive Rural Education Expansion Program in Pre-reform China
【参会链接】 https://zoom.com.cn/j/61866422214 密码：636746
【摘要】Prior to its Reform and Opening Policy, China achieved a level of secondary-school education unparalleled by its level of economic development. This study aims to understand the pre-reform formation of China’s human capital by looking at a massive rural school construction program in which the number of secondary schools increased tenfold from 19,367 in 1965 to 198,963 in 1977. Using a county-level dataset compiled from local gazetteers and population censuses, we show strong evidence that the program significantly improved the education attainment of rural children. Such a rapid expansion was associated with a deterioration in education quality, but the presence of sent-down educated youths during that period helped mitigate the negative trade-off in quantity and quality. Further analysis indicates that the rural school program contributed to the improvement in agricultural productivity.