1. China experienced a significant expansion of higher education in response to a labor redundancy program and the growth of the non-state sector in the late 1990s.
2. The expansion of higher education led to an increase in unemployment among graduates, but gradually adjusted expectations and aspirations resulted in more graduates finding employment at lower pay levels.
3. Previous studies have shown that educational expansions in other countries, such as the United States and East Africa, have led to a compression of the wage structure and lower pay for secondary school graduates.
The article titled "China’s expansion of higher education: The labour market consequences of a supply shock" provides an analysis of the labor market consequences of China's rapid expansion of higher education. While the article presents some interesting insights, there are several potential biases and limitations that need to be considered.
One potential bias in the article is its focus on the positive effects of expanding higher education. The authors argue that the expansion was a response to economic growth and increased demand for skilled workers. However, they do not thoroughly explore any potential negative consequences or drawbacks of this expansion. For example, they do not discuss whether there may have been an oversupply of graduates in certain fields, leading to high levels of unemployment or underemployment among recent graduates.
Additionally, the article relies heavily on theoretical models and empirical evidence from other countries to support its claims about the labor market effects of expanding higher education. While these studies provide some useful insights, it would have been more informative to include more specific evidence from China itself. The authors briefly mention some studies on secondary school expansion in East Africa and redundancy policies in China but do not provide a comprehensive analysis of how these findings relate to their research question.
Furthermore, the article does not adequately address potential confounding factors or alternative explanations for its findings. For example, it suggests that the expansion of higher education led to a compression of wages and reduced job prospects for secondary school leavers. However, there could be other factors at play, such as changes in technology or shifts in industry composition, that also contributed to these outcomes.
Another limitation is that the article does not consider the quality or relevance of the education received by graduates. It assumes that all graduates are equally affected by the expansion and face similar labor market outcomes. However, it is possible that graduates from prestigious universities or those with degrees in high-demand fields may have better job prospects than others.
Overall, while this article provides some valuable insights into the labor market consequences of expanding higher education in China, it has several limitations and potential biases that should be taken into account. It would have been beneficial to include a more balanced analysis of the potential positive and negative effects of this expansion and to provide more specific evidence from China itself. Additionally, the article could have explored alternative explanations for its findings and considered the quality and relevance of the education received by graduates.