A new GLO Discussion Paper finds for China that the SARS epidemic in 2003 significantly increased the intergenerational transmission of education, and hence inequality.
The Global Labor Organization (GLO) is an independent, non-partisan and non-governmental organization that functions as an international network and virtual platform to stimulate global research, debate and collaboration.
GLO Discussion Paper No. 779, 2021
GLO Fellow Sen Xue
Author Abstract: This paper examines the impact of the SARS epidemic in 2003 on intergenerational mobility in China. Using large cross-city variation in SARS cases, our triple difference-in-differences estimates suggest that the SARS epidemic significantly increases the intergenerational transmission of education. Our results show that a one percent increase in the number of SARS cases leads to a 9.3 percent increase in the maternal intergeneration transmission coefficient. The effect of the SARS epidemic is stronger for admission to 4-year bachelor programmes and more concentrated in female students and students in large cities. This paper also investigates the potential mechanisms and finds that more highly educated mothers tend to be more engaged in children’s studies during the epidemic period when teachers are absent. These results convey the warning message that pandemics may reduce intergenerational mobility of education.
Featured image: Kimberly-Farmer-on-Unsplash
GLO Discussion Papers are research and policy papers of the GLO Network which are widely circulated to encourage discussion. Provided in cooperation with EconStor, a service of the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, GLO Discussion Papers are among others listed in RePEc (see IDEAS, EconPapers). Complete list of all GLO DPs – downloadable for free.