Gansu Survey of Children and Families Papers


Community Poverty, Industrialization, and Educational Gender Gaps in Rural China

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version



Reprinted from Social forces (2013): sot084.

Publisher URL:


This paper investigates community impoverishment and industrialization as explanations for educational gender gaps in rural China with analysis of a multi-­province household survey and a longitudinal study of youth in one impoverished province. We consider attributes of poor communities that might shape gaps and the related roles of household and community poverty. Three major results emerge from this paper: community impoverishment, not industrialization, correlates with gaps; poverty and isolation shape gaps differently at different educational levels; and girls in relatively wealthy households fare better than boys at the transition to high school. Results suggest the importance of theorizing differences by educational stage and the need for research that conceptualizes the non-local dimensions of industrialization as potential considerations in educational decisions.



Date Posted: 03 May 2013

This document has been peer reviewed.