Theses Doctoral

Technical and Vocational Education in China: The Characteristics of Participants and Their Labor Market Returns

Wang, Anyi

This dissertation study focuses on upper secondary technical and vocational education (TVE) in China. It empirically examines the characteristics of TVE participants and the labor market impacts of participating in upper secondary TVE relative to attending general high schools. Using nationally representative datasets from China, this study has found that compared with individuals who attended general high schools, participants of upper secondary TVE tend to be from relatively disadvantaged family background. The negative association between family background and TVE participation is more pronounced for female TVE students. There is some evidence that girls are more likely to attend vocational education, especially the elite secondary specialized schools. Students of secondary specialized schools are from relatively selective family backgrounds compared with students of the other types of upper secondary TVE. In terms of labor market impacts, the study has found positive effects of attending upper secondary TVE on earnings, employment rate, and the likelihood of working full-time and working under formal contract. The effects are concentrated among females and students of secondary specialized schools. Considering that females are more likely to attend TVE, and that female TVE participants are more likely to come from less selective family background, the larger positive effects of attending TVE relative to general high schools among females may indicate improvement in equality both across genders and within females.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Economics and Education
Thesis Advisors
Tsang, Mun C.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
May 10, 2017