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There is a Chinese saying that goes We live to old age we learn until old age We Chinese truly have a passion for education and believe that in return education will further our knowledge elevate our social status and secure us a good job within society One of the most dramatic changes in the lives of average urban Chinese since the introduction of market reforms in the 1980s has been the erosion of the iron rice bowl Tang 2000 Since the start of the reforms in 1978 China has experienced unprecedented economic growth which has led to spectacular reductions in income poverty World Bank 2000 In the years when the redistributive economy prevailed urban social life was highly constrained As soon as the economic transition started the life of urbanites started to change dramatically While this change of the economy brought more material goods and a higher quality of life it also dramatically increased inequality in education between urban and rural areas in China especially in the 1990s While increasing income inequality has been studied extensively Tang 2000 Parish relatively there is a tremendous amount of information available for me to analyze on unbalanced educational situations between rural and urban China In the following paper I will present a picture of the unbalanced situation in terms of education and jobs after the economic reform began in China To understand the dynamics of the inequality inherent in the educational system it is necessary to understand the evolution of the Chinese education system and the redistributions of jobs under the socialist state Until the 1980s Chinas distributional policies strongly favored urban areas the rationing system introduced in the 1950s enabled urban residents to have access to food housing education and healthcare at much lower prices Almost all urban youngsters were guaranteed education to junior high The working-age groups were guaranteed jobs in the state or collectively owned firms Because these jobs were permanent urban unemployment was
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