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Private tutoring when stakes are high: Insights from the transition from primary to secondary school in Germany


  • Guill, Karin
  • Lintorf, Katrin


Private supplementary tutoring is a widespread and controversial phenomenon. The pressure high-stakes exams put on students is often held responsible for high tutoring rates. Our study tested this hypothesis by using regional variance in Germany: Results from two of three large-scale studies give evidence that, in regions where the transition from primary to secondary school resembles high-stakes exams, the probability to attend private tutoring is higher than in other regions. Therefore, we discuss how a more flexible education system with different pathways to the same educational goal might obviate the need for private tutoring and we consider this system’s side-effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Guill, Karin & Lintorf, Katrin, 2019. "Private tutoring when stakes are high: Insights from the transition from primary to secondary school in Germany," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 172-182.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:injoed:v:65:y:2019:i:c:p:172-182
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ijedudev.2018.08.001

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tansel, AysIt & Bircan, Fatma, 2006. "Demand for education in Turkey: A tobit analysis of private tutoring expenditures," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 303-313, June.
    2. Bray, Mark & Zhan, Shengli & Lykins, Chad & Wang, Dan & Kwo, Ora, 2014. "Differentiated demand for private supplementary tutoring: Patterns and implications in Hong Kong secondary education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 24-37.
    3. Hai-Anh Dang & F. Halsey Rogers, 2008. "The Growing Phenomenon of Private Tutoring: Does It Deepen Human Capital, Widen Inequalities, or Waste Resources?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 23(2), pages 161-200, April.
    4. Adrian Hille & C. Katharina Spieß & Mila Staneva, 2016. "More and More Students, Especially Those from Middle-Income Households, Are Using Private Tutoring," DIW Economic Bulletin, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 6(6), pages 63-71.
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