Life Chances and Birth Registration: A Study from Rural China

Berenice Nyland,Yang Gao,Zeng Xioadong,Josephine Ng
page. 71~96 / 2016 Vol.10 No.3


In recent years early childhood education has become a focus for ambitious reforms in China. Theemphasis on early experiences in this study was designed to address issues of unequal life chances,that is, the opportunities that individuals have to improve their lives across the life span. Children inrural China are more likely to be educationally disadvantaged and lack of birth registrationcompounds this problem. This paper examines data from rural China that was designed to collecthousehold information including details of birth registration. The survey data indicated that asignificant number of children in the study had no birth registration. Here we contrast the familieswith a registered child and the families with an unregistered child in relation to their knowledge ofchildrearing and how their knowledge and beliefs were put into practice. Findings indicate that therewere identifiable differences in the two groups and these may be significant for policy makers andlocal governments when designing interventions to assist in alleviating poverty.

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