Welcome to Francis Academic Press

Frontiers in Educational Research, 2021, 4(6); doi: 10.25236/FER.2021.040606.

Is Education in China Served for Productivity Augmenting? –––An Empirical Test about Educational Signaling Hypothesis


Tao Tang, Yizhen Wang

Corresponding Author:
Tao Tang

Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, K7L 3N6, Canada


This study applies an empirical approach based upon Employer Learning and Statistical Discrimination Model to examine education’s role in China and analyzes difference in returns of schooling in context of urban rural segmentation. An Ordinary Least Square estimation and Quantile Regression are conducted with micro data from China Family Panel Study (CFPS). Evidence support education signaling hypothesis overall, and a longer lasting signaling effect is found in rural area. A sensitivity analysis by quantile regression confirms a universality of our result in all income quartiles in China but strength of education signaling varies across earning groups.


China, Education, Screening Hypothesis, Signaling Hypothesis, Employer Learning, CFPS

Cite This Paper

Tao Tang, Yizhen Wang. Is Education in China Served for Productivity Augmenting? –––An Empirical Test about Educational Signaling Hypothesis. Frontiers in Educational Research (2021) Vol. 4, Issue 6: 25-30. https://doi.org/10.25236/FER.2021.040606.


[1] Joseph G. Altonji, & Charles R. Pierret. (2001). Employer Learning and Statistical Discrimination. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 116(1), 313–350. 

[2] Arcidiacono, P., Bayer, P., & Hizmo, A. (2010). Beyond signaling and human capital: Education and the revelation of ability. American Economic Journal. Applied Economics, 2(4), 76–104. 

[3] Bauer, T., & Haisken-DeNew, J. (2001). Employer learning and the returns to schooling. Labour Economics, 8(2), 161–180. 

[4] Gary S. Becker. (1962). Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis. The Journal of Political Economy, 70(5), 9–49. 

[5] Brown, S., & Sessions, J. (1999). Education and employment status: a test of the strong screening hypothesis in Italy. Economics of Education Review, 18(4), 397–404. 

[6] Henry S. Farber, & Robert Gibbons. (1996). Learning and Wage Dynamics. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 111(4), 1007–1047. 

[7] Fabian Lange. (2007). The Speed of Employer Learning. Journal of Labor Economics, 25(1), 1–35. 

[8] Psacharopoulos, G. (1979). On the weak versus the strong version of the screening hypothesis. Economics Letters, 4(2), 181–185. 

[9] John G. Riley. (1976). Information, Screening and Human Capital. The American Economic Review, 66(2), 254–260. 

[10] John G. Riley. (1979). Testing the Educational Screening Hypothesis. The Journal of Political Economy, 87(5), S227–S252. 

[11] Joseph E. Stiglitz. (1975). The Theory of “Screening,” Education, and the Distribution of Income. The American Economic Review, 65(3), 283–300. 

[12] Ge, S., Moro, A., & Zhu, B. (2021). Testing for asymmetric employer learning and statistical discrimination. Applied Economics, 53(12), 1361–1377. 

[13] Joshua C. Pinkston. (2006). A Test of Screening Discrimination with Employer Learning. Industrial & Labor Relations Review, 59(2), 267–284.