Estimating the Effects of Educational System Contraction: The Case of Chinas Rural School Merger Initiative
This study estimates the impact of educational infrastructure consolidation on educational attainment using the case of China¿s rural school merger initiatives in the early 2000s. Analyzing a unique rural household and community survey, we exploit variations in closure year and children¿s ages at closure to estimate effects on educational attainment. Results show an average decrease of 0.58 to 0.68 years of schooling for girls, but no significant effect for boys. Negative effects strengthen with time since closure. Different effects by gender may be related to greater sensitivity of girls¿ enrollment to distance and greater responsiveness of boys¿ enrollment to quality.