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Article
Publication date: 5 February 2018

Ai Yue, Bin Tang, Yaojiang Shi, Jingjing Tang, Guanminjia Shang, Alexis Medina and Scott Rozelle

The purpose of this paper is to describe the policy and trends in rural education in China over the past 40 years; and also discuss a number of challenges that are faced…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the policy and trends in rural education in China over the past 40 years; and also discuss a number of challenges that are faced by China’s rural school system.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use secondary data on policies and trends over the past 40 years for preschool, primary/junior high school, and high school.

Findings

The trends over the past 40 years in all areas of rural schooling have been continually upward and strong. While only a low share of rural children attended preschool in the 1980s, by 2014 more than 90 percent of rural children were attending. The biggest achievement in compulsory education is that the rise in the number of primary students that finish grade 6 and matriculate to junior high school. There also was a steep rise of those going to and completing high school. While the successes in upscaling rural education are absolutely unprecedented, there are still challenges.

Research limitations/implications

This is descriptive analysis and there is not causal link established between policies and rural schooling outcomes.

Practical implications

The authors illustrate one of the most rapid rises of rural education in history and match the achievements up with the policy efforts of the government. The authors also explore policy priorities that will be needed in the coming years to raise the quality of schooling.

Originality/value

This is the first paper that documents both the policies and the empirical trends of the success that China has created in building rural education from preschool to high school during the first 40 years of reform (1978-2018). The paper also documents – drawing on the literature and the own research – the achievements and challenges that China still face in the coming years, including issues of gender, urbanization, early childhood education and health and nutrition of students.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

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Article
Publication date: 20 September 2018

Hongyan Liu, Hao Xue, Yaojiang Shi and Scott Rozelle

Low levels of human capital in rural China are rooted in the poor schooling outcomes of elementary school students. The purpose of this paper is to provide insight into…

Abstract

Purpose

Low levels of human capital in rural China are rooted in the poor schooling outcomes of elementary school students. The purpose of this paper is to provide insight into the distribution of academic performance in rural China and identify vulnerable groups.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors draw on a data set of 25,892 observations constructed from 11 school-level surveys spanning nine provinces and one municipality in China conducted from 2013 to 2015.

Findings

The authors find that the distribution of academic performance is uneven across provinces and subgroups. In general, male students, Han, living in richer counties, living with their parents and studying in rural public schools do better academically than female students, non-Han, living in poorer counties, left behind and studying in private migrant schools in cities.

Research limitations/implications

Using the results of this study, policymakers should be able to better target investments into rural education focusing on at risk subpopulations.

Originality/value

With limited data sources, the research on the academic performance of students in rural China is largely absent. The findings of this study help to fill the gaps in the literature base.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2016

Linxiu Zhang, Yaojiang Shi and Scott Rozelle

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Abstract

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2016

Hao Xue, Yaojiang Shi and Alexis Medina

The purpose of this paper is to measure the turnover (or stability in employment) of village clinicians in rural China over the past decade. The authors also want to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to measure the turnover (or stability in employment) of village clinicians in rural China over the past decade. The authors also want to provide quantitative evidence on the individual characteristics of the clinicians who provide health care to villagers in rural China and whether we should expect these individuals to be interested in continuing to supply quality health care in China’s villages in the coming years.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses data from a survey of rural China’s village clinicians conducted in five provinces, 25 counties, and 101 villages in 2005 and 2012. This paper also uses qualitative data from interviews with 31 village clinicians. Using a mixed methods approach, this study describes the turnover of village clinicians and the main factors that impact the career decisions of clinicians.

Findings

Turnover of China’s village doctors, while not trivial (about 25 percent of village doctors exited their field between 2005 and 2012), is still not overly high. Only five out of 101 villages did not have village clinicians in 2012. Of those that lost village doctors between 2005 and 2012, nearly all of them still had a village doctor in 2012 (either taken over by another local clinician or the position was taken by a newcomer). The authors find that three main sets of factors are correlated with the career decisions of village clinicians: village clinicians’ opportunity cost, the profitability of running a village clinic, and commitment to the field of medicine. In general, clinicians who left the village faced a much higher opportunity cost, had been running a clinic that was not profitable, and had fewer ties to the field of medicine. Newcomers over the same period had higher levels of education, went to higher profit clinics between 2005 and 2012, and had a stronger commitment to the field.

Originality/value

This study makes use of a data set with a large and nationally representative sample to provide a new perspective to better understand clinician turnover at village clinics, the career decisions of clinicians, and the implied trends for the quality and access to rural health care services in the future.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2016

Aiqin Wang, Yaojiang Shi, Qiufeng Gao, Chengfang Liu, Linxiu Zhang, Natalie Johnson and Scott Rozelle

The purpose of this paper is to describe the trends in residential solid waste collection (RSWC) services in rural China over the past decade and analyze the determinants…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the trends in residential solid waste collection (RSWC) services in rural China over the past decade and analyze the determinants of these services using nationally representative data.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors draw on panel data from three rounds of village-level surveys of 101 villages. The three surveys were conducted in 2005, 2008, and 2012 in five provinces. The authors used fixed-effected regression approach to analyze the determinants of these services.

Findings

The results show that in the aftermath of increased investment and policy attention at the national level, the proportion of villages providing RSWC services in rural China increased significantly from 1998 to 2011. However, half of all villages in rural China still did not provide RSWC services as of 2011. Based on econometrics analysis, the authors show that villages that are richer, more populous, and villages with more small hamlets are more likely to provide RSWC services.

Originality/value

The analyses are based on primary survey data and the first to quantify trends in waste management services in the beginning of the twentieth century. The authors believe that the results will have significant policy implications for China in its continuing quest for better waste management policy.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

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Article
Publication date: 2 May 2017

Ai Yue, Yaojiang Shi, Renfu Luo, Linxiu Zhang, Natalie Johnson, Scott Rozelle and Qiran Zhao

Although access to safe drinking water is one of the most important health-related infrastructure programs in the world, drinking water remains a large problem in China…

Abstract

Purpose

Although access to safe drinking water is one of the most important health-related infrastructure programs in the world, drinking water remains a large problem in China today, especially in rural areas. Despite increased government investment in water resource protection and management, there is still an absence of academic studies that are able to document what path the investment has taken and whether it has had any tangible impact. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the impact of drinking water investment on drinking water in China.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors make use of nationally representative data from 2005 and 2012 to measure the impact of drinking water investment among 2,028 rural households in 101 villages across five provinces. Both ordinary least squares regression and probit regression are used to analyze the correlates and the impact of drinking water investment.

Findings

The authors demonstrate that water quality was likely a significant problem in 2004 but that China’s investment into drinking water appears to have resulted in initial improvements during the study period. The authors show that the most significant change came about in terms of hardware: villages that received more drinking water investment now have more piped tap water and more access to water treatment infrastructure (disinfecting and filtering facilities). High rates of rural resident satisfaction with drinking water suggest the effects of drinking water investment are being felt at the village level.

Originality/value

To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first empirical study on drinking water investment over time in rural China using nationally representative data.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2016

Fang Chang, Yaojiang Shi, Hongmei Yi and Natalie Johnson

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effect of adult children migration on the health status of elderly parents. Increased labor migration in developing countries…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effect of adult children migration on the health status of elderly parents. Increased labor migration in developing countries that lack adequate social security systems and institutionalized care for the elderly is a phenomenon that is important to understand. When their adult children go away to work, it is not clear what effect there will be on “left-behind” elderly parents.

Design/methodology/approach

This study employs nearly nationally representative data from five provinces, 25 counties, 101 villages and 2,000 households, collected from two waves of data in 2007 and 2011. This sample comprises a subset of households which include both elderly individuals (above 60 years old) and their grown (working-aged) children in order to estimate the impact of adult child migration on the health of elderly parents in rural China.

Findings

This study finds that adult child migration has a significant positive impact on the health of elderly family members.

Practical implications

These findings are consistent with the explanation that migration raises family resources, which in turn may contribute to better health outcomes for elderly household members.

Originality/value

This is the first paper to attempt to identify the relationship between household migration and the health of elderly parents within the Chinese context.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

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Article
Publication date: 18 March 2016

Chengfang Liu, Linxiu Zhang, Yaojiang Shi, Huan ZHOU, Alexis Medina and Scott Rozelle

Many public health systems have struggled with the dual questions of (1) why the uptake rate of maternal health services is low among some subpopulations; and (2) how to…

Abstract

Purpose

Many public health systems have struggled with the dual questions of (1) why the uptake rate of maternal health services is low among some subpopulations; and (2) how to raise it. The objective of this study is to assess the uptake rate of a new set of maternal health services in poor rural areas of China.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis is based on the survey responses of women’s representatives and village cadres from almost 1000 villages in June 2012 as part of a wide-scale public health survey in Sichuan, Gansu and Yunnan provinces in the western part of China.

Findings

We find that the uptake rate of maternal health services (including in-hospital delivery, antenatal care visits and post-partum care visits) in poor rural areas of western China are far below average in China, and that the rates vary across provinces and ethnic groups. Our analyses demonstrate that distance, income, ethnicity and availability appear to be systematically correlated with low uptake rates of all maternal health services. Demand-side factors seem to be by far the most important sources of the differences between subpopulations. We also find that there is potential for creating a Conditional Cash Transfer program to improve the usage of maternal health services.

Originality/value

We believe that our results will contribute positively to the exploration of answers to the dual questions that many public health systems have struggled with (1) why the uptake rate of maternal health services is low among some subpopulations; and (2) how to raise it.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2015

Fei He, Yaojiang Shi, Renfu Luo, Linxiu Zhang, Natalie Johnson and Scott Rozelle

The purpose of this paper is to describe trends in irrigation investment in China’s rural villages in the 2000s, identify the types of villages in which investment…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe trends in irrigation investment in China’s rural villages in the 2000s, identify the types of villages in which investment occurred and examine whether this investment had an impact on agricultural land.

Design/methodology/approach

This study makes use of longitudinal survey data from a nearly nationally representative sample of 101 villages spread across five provinces. The outcome variables are cultivated area, sown area and effectively irrigated area, and ordinary least squares regression and fixed effects models are used for the analysis.

Findings

In spite of sustained investments into irrigation from 1998 to 2011, there has been almost no impact on agricultural land. Cultivated area and sown area have fallen across all five sample provinces while effectively irrigated area remains largely unchanged. The authors also show that there is no relationship between investment into irrigation and agricultural land. Irrigation facilities also have the lowest rate of rural resident satisfaction of any of the major public services provided.

Research limitations/implications

More research is needed to understand the impact of irrigation investment on crop yields and water savings.

Practical implications

Policymakers may need to rethink the current pattern of investment into irrigation.

Originality/value

This is the first study to quantitatively model the impact of investment into irrigation at the village level all over China.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

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Article
Publication date: 30 January 2009

Huixia Liu, Linxiu Zhang, Gale Summerfield and Yaojiang Shi

The social safety net of health care insurance is rapidly expanding in rural China. New Rural Cooperative Medical System (NRCMS) programs proliferated between the national…

Abstract

Purpose

The social safety net of health care insurance is rapidly expanding in rural China. New Rural Cooperative Medical System (NRCMS) programs proliferated between the national decree of 2002 and 2008, moving from a situation where less than 10 per cent of the rural population had access to health insurance to one where over 80 per cent had the opportunity to participate in these programs. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how NRCMS affects equity goals in access to health care and explore the gender‐specific determinants for farmers to participate in NRCMS and use health care services.

Design/methodology/approach

Empirical analysis, by using the national rural socio‐economic survey data collected by the Centre for Chinese Agricultural Policy, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2005. Based on Andersen's access to medical care model, the probit model for regression was used. All analyses are conducted with Stata 9.0 software.

Findings

Gender was found to have significant effects on both NRCMS participation and health care use. Age, education, deductible level and ceiling limits of reimbursement had positive effects on both NRCMS participation and health care use. The narrow coverage with high co‐payment compensation system asserted significant deterrence effects on equity access to health care. This is only a first step toward building an adequate health safety net for all rural residents, there is still a long way to go.

Originality/value

Using the national household survey data, this study is one of few studies focusing on the interplay between gender and the distinct determinants of access to health care under the ongoing NRCMS. The relevant findings have important implications for further policy design.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

Keywords

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