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Article
The impact of vouchers on preschool attendance and elementary school readiness : a randomized controlled trial in rural China
Economics of Education Review
  • Ho Lun, Alex WONG, Lingnan University, Hong Kong
  • Renfu LUO, Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy, Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Linxiu ZHANG, Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy, Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Scott ROZELLE, Stanford University, United States
Document Type
Journal article
Publication Date
8-1-2013
Keywords
  • Preschool attendance,
  • School readiness,
  • Voucher and conditional cash transfer,
  • Randomized controlled trials,
  • Educational performance,
  • Rural China
Abstract
Although preschool has been shown to improve children's school readiness in many developing countries, preschool attendance in poor rural areas of China is still low. The high cost of preschool is often regarded as a major barrier to attendance. In this paper, we evaluate the impact of a one-year voucher/CCT intervention on preschool attendance and school readiness. To do so, we conducted a randomized controlled trial among 150 young children in a poor, rural county in China. Our analysis shows that the intervention, consisting of a tuition waiver and a cash transfer conditional on attendance, raised attendance by 20 percentage points (or by 35%). However, the intervention did not have measurable impact on children's school readiness. We believe that poor quality of preschool education in rural China (in terms of both teaching and facilities) contributes to our findings.
DOI
10.1016/j.econedurev.2013.03.004
Scopus EID
https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-84877343572&doi=10.1016%2fj.econedurev.2013.03.004&partnerID=40&md5=8b8371597af87f366989fd61996529bc
E-ISSN
18737382
Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

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Citation Information
Wong, H. L. A., Luo, R., Zhang, L., & Rozelle, S. (2013). The impact of vouchers on preschool attendance and elementary school readiness: A randomized controlled trial in rural China. Economics of Education Review, 35, 53-65. doi: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2013.03.004