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Just above the exam cutoff score: Elite college admission and wages in China

Jia, Ruixue and Li, Hongbin (2021) Just above the exam cutoff score: Elite college admission and wages in China. Journal of Public Economics, 196. ISSN 0047-2727

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2021.104371


A burgeoning literature has documented the importance of elite colleges. Yet, little is known about access to elite education and its labor market implications in China, a country that produces one in every five college graduates in the world. College admission in China is governed by a single exam – the national college entrance exam, and the government sets admission cutoff scores for elite colleges. We examine the impacts of scoring above the elite-tier cutoff on a student's access to elite colleges and wage outcomes after graduation, using the discontinuity around the cutoff score. By employing hand-collected survey data, we find that scoring above the cutoff not only increases the chance of entering an elite college but also raises a young person's first-job wages after graduation. We also find that those just above the cutoff have peers with higher scores and better social networks than those below the cutoff, but it is less clear whether the two groups use their time differently in college.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Publisher Copyright: © 2021 Elsevier B.V.
Divisions: Management
Date Deposited: 03 May 2024 14:51
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2024 07:21

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