Discussion paper series // Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit 5179
This paper examines the gender differential in the payoff to schooling in China. The analyses are conducted separately for rural and urban areas, and are based on a framework provided by the over education/required education/under education literature, and the decomposition developed by Chiswick and Miller (2008). It shows that the payoff to correctly matched education in rural China is much higher for females than for males. Associated with this, the wage penalty where workers are under qualified in their occupation is greater for females than for males. Both of these factors are shown to be linked to the higher payoff to schooling for females than for males. Over educated females, however, are advantaged compared with their male counterparts, though this has little effect on the differential in the payoff to schooling between males and females in rural China. These findings are interpreted using the explanations offered for the gender differential in the payoff to schooling in the growing literature on earnings determination in China. The payoffs to actual years of schooling for males and females in urban China are remarkably similar in this study.