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Mothers, Maids and Tutors: An Empirical Evaluation of their Effect on Children's Academic Grades in Singapore

Author

Listed:
  • Roland Cheo
  • Euston Quah

Abstract

As female labour force participation in the workforce increases in Singapore, the basic economic unit—the home—has become wealthier, although arguably at the expense of both personal and family leisure. Yet with additional income, breadwinners are better able to undertake investment for their own well-being or their children's well-being that can offset the net loss of utility associated with less leisure. Concomitantly, it is common to find a domestic helper living with a Singapore family and other specialist helpers such as paid home tutors, who come to the home. This paper examines how this new investment vis-a-vis new home variables affects a child's overall academic performance. Primarily, the effects of a mother's choice to work, the presence of either tutors or domestic helpers and the effects of different investment strategies to raise a child's qualitative attributes. The paper asserts that how a child performs academically is less dependent on his/her choice of time use; rather, it is the number of qualitative benefits the child receives in the home environment. The conventional wisdom of 'the more the better' is questioned by the results of this study, arguing instead that diminishing returns set in far quicker when over-investment in the child takes place.

Suggested Citation

  • Roland Cheo & Euston Quah, 2005. "Mothers, Maids and Tutors: An Empirical Evaluation of their Effect on Children's Academic Grades in Singapore," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(3), pages 269-285.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:edecon:v:13:y:2005:i:3:p:269-285
    DOI: 10.1080/09645290500073746
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Hsiao-Lei Chu, 2015. "Private Tutoring, Wealth Constraint and Higher Education," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(4), pages 608-634, October.
    2. Asmaa Elbadawy, 2013. "The Effect of Tutoring on Secondary Streaming in Egypt," Working Papers 769, Economic Research Forum, revised Sep 2013.
    3. Berberoglu, Giray & Tansel, Aysit, 2014. "Does private tutoring increase students’ academic performance? Evidence from Turkey," MPRA Paper 57370, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Dang, Hai-Anh, 2007. "The determinants and impact of private tutoring classes in Vietnam," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 683-698, December.
    5. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:10:y:2007:i:11:p:1-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Brishti Guha, 2007. "Maids and mistresses : migrating maids and female labor force participation," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 10(11), pages 1-9.
    7. Álvaro Choi de Mendizábal & Jorge Calero Martínez & Oriol Escardíbul Ferrà, 2011. "Hell to touch the sky? Private tutoring and academic achievement in Korea," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 6,in: Antonio Caparrós Ruiz (ed.), Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 6, edition 1, volume 6, chapter 7, pages 118-134 Asociación de Economía de la Educación.
    8. repec:wsi:serxxx:v:62:y:2017:i:05:n:s0217590815500745 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Jheng, Ying-Jie, 2015. "The influence of private tutoring on middle-class students’ use of in-class time in formal schools in Taiwan," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 1-8.
    10. Zhang, Yu, 2013. "Does private tutoring improve students’ National College Entrance Exam performance?—A case study from Jinan, China," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 1-28.
    11. Han, Yoonsun & Lee, Seonglim, 2016. "Heterogeneous relationships between family private education spending and youth academic performance in Korea," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 136-142.

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