Gansu Survey of Children and Families Dissertations

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Permission of author. Copyright Philip H. Brown, 2003.


This dissertation is comprised of three separate essays that analyze decision making and education within resource-constrained households. Each essay makes use of data from households and schools in rural China to investigate problems of broad interest in development microeconomics.

Low income coupled with incomplete credit markets make financing educational investments difficult in poor areas even when the returns to education exceed the costs. These problems are compounded by the prevalence of less educated parents in poor areas because such parents may be less likely to educate their own children. In particular, less educated parents may have a lower ability to assist their children with schoolwork, may be less able to provide complementary inputs to learning, and may value education less. Moreover, their children may face lower returns to schooling. In addition, the low education levels of women may affect their relative intra-household bargaining positions and thus household decisions about children's education if parental preferences differ.



Date Posted: 12 November 2008