Title

The impact of vouchers on preschool attendance and elementary school readiness : a randomized controlled trial in rural China

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Economics of Education Review

Publication Date

8-1-2013

Volume

35

First Page

53

Last Page

65

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

Print ISSN

02727757

E-ISSN

18737382

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Recommended Citation

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