Educational inequality among Chinese urban schools: the business ethics of private schools

Jin Wang, Wonho Jang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Abstract: This study explores the institutional history of the urban school system in Chinese cities and tries to explicate the complex social, economic, political and institutional forces over recent decades that help to create such a divergent pattern among urban schools. To do so, it first reviews the origins of modern Chinese education, market reform in 1980s and 1990s, an increase of migrant workers in big cities, and subsequent institutional changes in Chinese urban schools. A key characteristic of Chinese urban schools is unequal provision of public education between legal residents and migrant workers. The state has played a crucial role in the change of Chinese urban schools by allowing private schools for the children of migrant workers. Private schools, focusing on a manufacturing model of reducing costs and streamlining the education production process, are highly profitable businesses. However, the business ethics run contrary to the values of public education, ignoring necessary educational conditions and the bond between teachers and students in the process of education. Private schools for migrant students, therefore, stand in sharp contrast to the good public schools that are mainly for city residents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)502-515
Number of pages14
JournalAsia Pacific Business Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2 Jul 2016


  • Business ethic
  • Chinese migrant student
  • Chinese urban school
  • educational inequality
  • new institutionalism


Dive into the research topics of 'Educational inequality among Chinese urban schools: the business ethics of private schools'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this