Does Shadow Education Exacerbate Inequality of Educational Outcomes?

Professor Yongmei Hu, Beijing Normal University
Dr. Wenfeng Fan, Beijing Academy of Educational Sciences
Associate Professor Weili Ding, Queen’s University, Canada
Dr. Philip Wing Keung Chan, Monash University

Shadow education or private tutoring and supplementary lecturing has become pervasive in East Asian countries. This article analyzes the data of PISA 2012 to assess the influence of shadow education on the mathematical literacy of students in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea. It estimates the impact of shadow education using the method of reweighting via propensity score matching (RPSM). From our analyses, we conclude that private math tutoring has a significant, positive effect on math scores, especially for Japanese and South Korean students. Moreover, by providing the same tutoring opportunities to students from different economic and social status families, it could narrow the math performance gap between students of different economic, social and cultural status (ESCS).

Shadow Education; Inequality of Educational Opportunities; Inequality of Educational outcomes; PISA; RPSM

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