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01 April 2024

Identity, Secondary Vocational Education Options and Return on Investment: Evidence from Children of Rural Chinese Families

With the continuous improvement of living standards, the importance of educational choice becomes more and more prominent. Based on the data of China General Social Survey (CGSS), a simultaneous equation model of identity, secondary vocational education choice and investment return is constructed. On the basis of fully considering endogeneity and sample selection bias, this paper analyzes the influence of identity on secondary vocational education choice and investment return by means of instrumental variables and propensity score matching (PSM). It is found that class differentiation is the main factor affecting class identity. The more blurred class differentiation, the higher class identity. Class identity has a significant positive impact on identity. The higher class identity, the easier it is to form identity. Identity has a direct positive impact on personal investment return. The stronger the identity, the higher the investment return. At the same time, identity has a significant positive impact on the choice of secondary vocational education. The stronger the identity, the more inclined to choose secondary vocational education. Compared with individuals with junior high school education, individuals with secondary vocational education have a higher return on education investment. Therefore, identity can not only directly improve an individual’s return on investment, but also improve the possibility of an individual’s choice of secondary vocational education, thereby improving an individual’s return on education investment, and ultimately increasing an individual’s return on investment.

Keywords: Identity; Class differentiation; Educational choice; Return on investment; Simultaneous equations model; Mediating effect model; Common prosperity