Why Do Girls in Rural China Have Lower School Enrollment?

Lina Song, Simon Appleton, John Knight

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


Boys are more likely than girls to attend school in rural China. There is evidence that gender equity is a "luxury good"; the demand for female schooling is more income elastic than that for male schooling. Maternal education generally has a stronger effect on primary school enrollment and on educational expenditure than paternal education does. However, maternal education has a weaker effect on girls' enrollment in secondary school than paternal education does. There appears to be no monetary return to schooling for women, but a modest benefit for men. Households also appear to face a higher opportunity cost when enrolling young women than when enrolling young men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1639-1653
Number of pages15
JournalWorld Development
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • educational enrollment
  • gender discrimination
  • intra-household allocation
  • labor market

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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