Data Sharing for Demographic Research

A data archive for demography and population sciences

This study was originally processed, archived, and disseminated by Data Sharing and Demographic Research, a project funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

Gansu Poverty and Education Project, Wave 1, 2000 (ICPSR 28661)

Principal Investigator(s):


China's dramatic economic and educational changes over the past 20 years have stimulated concerns about the education of children in rural areas. Recent empirical studies give evidence of growing disparities in educational opportunities between urban and rural areas and socio-economic and geographic inequities in basic-level educational participation within rural areas. These studies also point to a persisting gender gap in enrollment and to the disproportionate impact of poverty on girls' educational participation (Hannum 1998b; Zhang 1998). This study focused on the influence of poverty on the schooling of 11 to 14 year-old children in rural Gansu, an interior province in Northwest China characterized by high rates of rural poverty and a substantial dropout problem. Substantively, this study was innovative in adopting an integrated approach: it focused on the community, family, and school contexts in which children are educated. Methodologically, the study combined information on children's academic performance and school characteristics, with a household-based sample that allowed examination of the academic experiences of children who have left the education system as well as those who have persisted in it. Finally, the project was the baseline wave for the first large-scale, longitudinal study devoted to education and social inequality conducted in rural China. Results of this study contribute to an understanding of basic social stratification processes and provide insights for developing intervention strategies to improve educational access and effectiveness in rural China.

Wave 1 of this study (2000) has been archived and is available for download at ICPSR-DSDR. For information about Waves 2-4 (2004, 2007, 2009), please see the Gansu Survey of Children and Families Web site.

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.


DS1:  Wave 1 Child Form - Download All Files (7.6 MB)
DS2:  Wave 1 Cognitive Test - Download All Files (1.4 MB)

Study Description


Hannum, Emily, and Yanhong Zhang. Gansu Poverty and Education Project, Wave 1, 2000. ICPSR28661-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2012-03-08.

Persistent URL:

Export Citation:

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  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • Spencer Foundation

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   communities, economic change, education reform, educational change, educational opportunities, educationally disadvantaged, family, gender roles, households, poverty, rural areas, schools, socioeconomic status

Smallest Geographic Unit:   county

Geographic Coverage:   China (Peoples Republic), Global

Time Period:  

  • 2000

Date of Collection:  

  • 2000

Unit of Observation:   individual, household, school

Universe:   All 11-14 year-old children in the Gansu province of China.

Data Types:   clinical data, survey data

Data Collection Notes:

DSDR holds seven datasets from Wave 2 (2004) that are not being processed at this time due to a lack of adequate documentation. We are currently making efforts to resolve this issue.

This data collection includes several variables with undocumented codes. Unfortunately, the original researchers were not able to provide us with labels for these codes.


Study Purpose:   This project is the baseline wave for the first large-scale, longitudinal study devoted to education and social inequality conducted in rural China. Results will contribute to an understanding of basic social stratification processes and provide insights for developing intervention strategies to improve educational access and effectiveness in rural China.

Study Design:   The need for an integrated approach to the study of poverty and education in China provides the motivation for this study and the guide to its design. This study collected information on children's homes, communities, and schools that can be linked together to allow an integrated analysis of the barriers to educational equity. This design, arising largely from observations about the principal investigators' own research and that of others in rural China, meshes closely with recommendations provided at a recent workshop convened to assess priorities for national data collection related to child outcomes in the United States (Board on Children and Families et al. 1995). In the proceedings from this workshop, Brooks-Gunn et al. (1995) describe an emerging "resource framework" for studying the effects on child and adolescent development of such factors as the time, money, and emotional resources of parents and the institutions and "social capital" present in communities. This framework formalizes an emerging tradition of an integrated approach to analyzing the effects of poverty on child development and education conducted in the United States (for example, Booth and Dunn 1996; Brooks-Gunn et al. 1995, Brooks-Gunn et al. 1997; Duncan and Brooks-Gunn 1997, Huston 1991).

Sample:   In collaboration with the Gansu Provincial Office of the State Statistical Bureau (SSB), information was collected from a representative sample of 2,000 rural 11-14 year-olds drawn from updated SSB census lists. These ages represent children who should be enrolled in the later grades of elementary school and in junior high school. Using the existing census and national survey data collection personnel and facilities available through the SSB, household interviews were administered to target children and their parents. Village leaders were interviewed at the same time to collect information on the economic, demographic, and educational circumstances of the communities in which the sampled individuals reside. A survey was conducted of all primary and secondary schools and a summary survey of all teachers in the schools in the counties where the survey data were collected. An extended questionnaire probing attitudes and practices was administered to homeroom teachers of target children. School and teacher data, as well as scores on province-wide achievement tests, was linked to individual target children. Finally, a series of focus-group discussions to probe attitudes toward education among a subset of sampled target children, their parents, and village teachers was conducted.

Time Method:   Longitudinal

Mode of Data Collection:   face-to-face interview, mail questionnaire, mixed mode, paper and pencil interview (PAPI)

Data Source:

Survey data from the Gansu Survey of Children and Families

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:  



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