School dropouts and conditional cash transfers: evidence from a randomized controlled trial in rural China’s junior high schools
Mo, Di × Zhang, L. Yi, H. Luo, R. Rozelle, S. Brinton, C. #
The Journal of Development Studies vol:49 issue:2 pages:190-207
The overall goal of this study is to examine if there is a dropout problem in rural China and to explore the effectiveness of a Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programme on the rate of dropping out. To meet this goal, we conduct a randomised controlled trial (RCT) to assess the impact of the CCT using a sample of the poorest 300 junior high school students in a nationally-designated poor county in Northwest China. We find that the annual dropout rate in the study county was 7.8 per cent and even higher, 13.3 per cent, among the children of poor households. We demonstrate that a CCT program reduces dropout by 60 per cent. The programme is most effective among students with poor academic performance, and likely more effective among girls and younger students.