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Private Tutoring and Demand for Education in South Korea

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  • Sunwoong Kim
  • Ju-Ho Lee

Abstract

Private tutoring in South Korea is quite pervasive. In 2006, the household sector spent 2.57% of the nation's GDP on private tutoring for primary and secondary school students. Government spending on those students was about 3.5% of GDP, which is about the average level among OECD countries. Despite the substantial government expenditure on the formal education system and strong policies that try to reduce private tutoring activities, household spending on private tutoring has been increasing very rapidly. We argue that the prevalence of private tutoring is a market response to the government's rigid and uniform education policy. The desire to enter elite universities in a very hierarchical higher education system and a heavily regulated and equalized secondary school system has created an enormous demand for supplementary private tutoring. Empirical analyses indicate that students with high academic ability and high family income whose parents are highly educated spend more on private tutoring. Also, students in regions without school choice spend more on private tutoring. The estimated income elasticity of private tutoring is about 0.5. Pervasive private tutoring may create an inefficient as well as inequitable educational system. Korean experience studied in this article suggests that private tutoring should be studied as an integral part of the whole educational system. (c) 2010 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

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  • Sunwoong Kim & Ju-Ho Lee, 2010. "Private Tutoring and Demand for Education in South Korea," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(2), pages 259-296, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:v:58:y:2010:i:2:p:259-296
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hoon Choi & Álvaro Choi, 2015. "When one door closes: the impact of the hagwon curfew on the consumption of private tutoring in the Republic of Korea," Working Papers 2015/32, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    2. ZHAO, Guochang, 2015. "Can money ‘buy’ schooling achievement? Evidence from 19 Chinese cities," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 83-104.
    3. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:60:y:2017:i:c:p:68-85 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:injoed:v:59:y:2018:i:c:p:43-50 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Wang, Liang Choon, 2015. "All work and no play? The effects of ability sorting on students’ non-school inputs, time use, and grade anxiety," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 29-41.
    6. Liang Wang, 2016. "The effect of high-stakes testing on suicidal ideation of teenagers with reference-dependent preferences," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(2), pages 345-364, April.
    7. Choi, Hoon & Choi, Álvaro, 2016. "Regulating private tutoring consumption in Korea: Lessons from another failure," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 144-156.
    8. Wolff, Edward N. & Baumol, William J. & Saini, Anne Noyes, 2014. "A comparative analysis of education costs and outcomes: The United States vs. other OECD countries," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 1-21.
    9. Mehtabul Azam, 2016. "Private Tutoring: Evidence from India," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(4), pages 739-761, November.
    10. repec:eee:jeborg:v:139:y:2017:i:c:p:152-165 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:eee:ecmode:v:70:y:2018:i:c:p:1-14 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. 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.
    13. Asankha Pallegedara, 2012. "Demand for private tutoring in a free education country. The case of Sri Lanka," International Journal of Education Economics and Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 3(4), pages 375-393.
    14. Yuan, Cheng & Zhang, Lei, 2015. "Public education spending and private substitution in urban China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 124-139.

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