Targeted Poverty Alleviation and Children’s Academic Performance in China

Huifu Nong, Qing Zhang, Hongjia Zhu, Rong Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper estimates the causal impact of China’s targeted poverty alleviation program on the academic achievement of students from poor households. We use the longitudinal academic records of a cohort of students from all middle schools in a nationally designated poor county in China. Using the difference-in-differences approach, we show that targeted poverty alleviation improves the scholastic performance of girls and their achievement rank among peer students. However, we find no such empirical evidence for boys. Our findings suggest that the new anti-poverty program in China has the potential to ameliorate the intergenerational transmission of low socioeconomic status to girls by promoting their human capital accumulation.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalReview of Income and Wealth
Early online date26 May 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 May 2021


  • academic outcomes
  • China
  • middle school
  • targeted poverty alleviation


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