Do Resources Matter? The Impacts of Attending Model Vocational Schools on Student Outcomes in China
Policymakers in an increasing number of developing countries have made the mass expansion of vocational education and training (VET) a top priority. Recent evidence suggests, however, that the quality of VET is poor in some countries. One possible reason for the poor quality of VET is insufficient school resources per student. The goal of this study is to examine whether the quality of VET in developing countries can be improved by investing more resources. To fulfill this goal, we examine the impacts of attending model schools (with higher levels of resources per student) as compared to non-model schools (with lower levels of resources) on a wide range of student outcomes. Using representative data from a survey of approximately 12,000 VET students from China, our multivariate regression and propensity score matching analyses find that there are no significant benefits of attending model vocational high schools on cognitive or non-cognitive student outcomes.