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Family Resources and Educational Stratification: The Case of Hong Kong, 1981-2001

Publication Abstract

Download PDF versionWu, Xiaogang. 2007. "Family Resources and Educational Stratification: The Case of Hong Kong, 1981-2001." PSC Research Report No. 07-624. 5 2007.

This paper examines trends in educational stratification in Hong Kong based on samples from population censuses and by-census data from 1981 to 2001. I match young children to their parents’ background information and focus on the effects of family resources on children’s educational outcomes. Results show that, over the past two decades, the economic resources of a family have played a significant role in determining full-time school enrollment for those aged between 15 and 19 and attainment of university education among those aged between 20 and 24. The social and cultural resources of a family have also become more important since the 1990s. In regards to school transitions, the effects of a family’s economic, social and cultural resources declined (or became insignificant) in transitions to higher levels of education beyond the compulsory level in the 1980s and the 1990s, but became more important in the progression to higher levels of education (particularly to university) in 2001. The effects of family resources on educational stratification did not seem to decline monotonically with the rapid expansion of education in the territory.

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