Together with a companion paper to be published in the March 2010 issue, this is an ambitious attempt to view the relationships involving education and income as forming a system, and one that can generate a poverty trap. The setting is rural China, and the data are from a national household survey for 2002, designed with research hypotheses in mind. Enrolment is high in rural China in comparison with most poor rural societies, but the quality of education varies greatly. The paper analyses the determinants of drop-out from middle school and of continuation to high school. It also examines the determinants of pupil performance, time spent learning, and educational expenditure. Poverty is found to have an adverse effect on both the quantity and quality of education - so contributing to a poverty trap.
Oxford Development Studies 2009 Vol. 37 No. 4 pp. 311-332