• household assets;
  • gender;
  • family income;
  • school enrollment;
  • parental aspiration

Using rural household data from the China Household Income Project (CHIP) 2002, this article provides an analysis of different effects of household assets independent of family income on children's school enrollment and parental aspirations for education, examining both outcomes by children's gender. The study first compared the responsiveness of boys' and girls' enrollment with the improvement of household assets, measured as liquid assets and net worth, relative to family income. The multivariate regression analysis further detected the effects of household assets on both boys' and girls' school enrollment and parental aspirations for their future education. Statistical results show that, compared with family income, household assets matter more for girls' schooling than for boys'. In addition, household net worth was found to be significantly associated with parental aspirations for children's education regardless of gender. This study, albeit exploratory, sheds light on child welfare and education policies in rural China.