Returns to higher education subjects and tiers in China: Evidence from the China Family Panel Studies

Lili Kang, Fei Peng, Yu Zhu (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Using the China Family Panel Studies, we identify the subjects studied by vocational college and university graduates, with the latter group further divided into ordinary and key universities. While the returns are around 8-10% to attending colleges and ordinary universities, there are higher returns of 12-16% per annum to attending the more prestigious key universities. The recent massive expansion of the higher education sector resulted in reduced returns to all HE types, except for graduates who studied subjects other than LEM (law, economics, and management) or STEM (sciences, technology, engineering and math/medicine) at key universities.

We further account for selection on observables into subjects and tiers using the doubly robust Inverse Probability Weighted Regression Adjustment method (IPWRA) approach. While these results are tentative, they suggest that pooled OLS and random-effect models substantially underestimate the effect of attending universities that are more prestigious for graduates of both genders in LEM.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Early online date11 Dec 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Dec 2019

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China
university
economic law
evidence
education
vocational college
graduate
management
medicine
engineering
regression
gender
science
Group

Keywords

  • Returns to university tier and subjects
  • China
  • Inverse Probability Weighted Regression Adjustment
  • Higher Education expansion

Cite this

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abstract = "Using the China Family Panel Studies, we identify the subjects studied by vocational college and university graduates, with the latter group further divided into ordinary and key universities. While the returns are around 8-10{\%} to attending colleges and ordinary universities, there are higher returns of 12-16{\%} per annum to attending the more prestigious key universities. The recent massive expansion of the higher education sector resulted in reduced returns to all HE types, except for graduates who studied subjects other than LEM (law, economics, and management) or STEM (sciences, technology, engineering and math/medicine) at key universities.We further account for selection on observables into subjects and tiers using the doubly robust Inverse Probability Weighted Regression Adjustment method (IPWRA) approach. While these results are tentative, they suggest that pooled OLS and random-effect models substantially underestimate the effect of attending universities that are more prestigious for graduates of both genders in LEM.",
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