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Education and intergenerational income mobility in urban China

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Frontiers of Education in China


This study examines the relationship between education and intergenerational income mobility in urban China based on the data of Chinese Urban Household Education and Employment Survey (CHUHEES)—2004” by Institute of Economics of Education of Peking University. It analyzes the characteristics of the intergenerational income mobility of Chinese urban household through such indices as intergenerational income inheritance and mobility, and intergenerational income elasticity, exploring the role of education to promote intergenerational income mobility through pathanalysis and binary logistic regression. It also analyzes the changing tendency along with the progress of the market reform in China and tries to provide theoretical explanations for the empirical results. According to the findings, there is rather obvious intergenerational income transmission in urban China, and most children still resort in the same income group with their fathers. As a kind of important mechanism of intergenerational mobility, education is instrumental to promote children of disadvantage group to upgrade of their economic status, showing its strong functions to promote intergenerational upward mobility. With the improvement of the level of marketization together with appropriate social policy, the role of education to promote the intergenerational income mobility and social equity is getting stronger.


利用北京大学教育经济研究所 《中国城镇居民教育与就业情况调查—2004》 的数据, 对中国城镇居民教育与收入代际流动的关系进行定量研究。 通过收入代际继承性和流动性指数、 收入代际弹性系数等指标分析中国城镇居民收入代际流动的特点, 运用通径分析技术和二元Logistic 回归模型探讨教育促进收入代际流动的功能, 分析教育的这一功能随中国市场化水平的提高所呈现出的变化趋势, 并对研究结果进行原因解释。 研究结果表明, 中国城镇居民收入代际存在较为明显的传递效应, 多数子女依然滞留在与父亲相同的收入组群; 教育作为一种重要的代际流动机制, 有助于促进弱势群体的子女实现经济社会地位的跃升, 具有较强的促进代际流动的功能; 随着市场化水平的提高, 教育促进收入代际流动, 改善整个社会收入公平状况的功能也日益增强。

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Correspondence to Guo Congbin.

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Translated from Jiaoyu Yanjiu 教育研究 (Educational Research), 2007, (5): 3–14

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Guo, C., Min, W. Education and intergenerational income mobility in urban China. Front. Educ. China 3, 22–44 (2008).

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