Journal of Labor Research

, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 463–486 | Cite as

Does College Education Promote Entrepreneurship in China?

  • Tianshu Chu
  • Qiang WenEmail author


There is no consensus on the impact of education on entrepreneurial choice in both theory and empirics. China’s Higher Education Expansion (HEE) policy initiated in 1999 provides us a unique opportunity to identity the causal relationship between college education and entrepreneurship by exploiting the Fuzzy Regression Discontinuity Design (FRDD) approach. In this paper, we use the China Household Income Project (CHIP) 2013 database, finding that China’s HEE policy significantly increases the probability of obtaining college education by 12%. There is suggestive evidence that college education decreases overall and self-employed-type of entrepreneurial choices, but increases boss-type activities; none of the coefficients are precisely estimated, though. Our results are robust to different inference approaches.


College education Entrepreneurship Higher education expansion policy Fuzzy regression discontinuity design 

JEL Classification

I25 J24 L26 



We appreciate support from the Income Distribution and Development Policy Research Project at the Research Institute of Economics and Management of SWUFE. We are very grateful for the editor and reviewer’s insightful feedback. All errors are mine.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

We have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Institute of Economics and ManagementSouthwestern University of Finance and EconomicsChengduChina
  2. 2.The Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in EconomicsXiamen UniversityXiamenChina

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