Private Tutoring and Educational Inequality: Evidence from a Dynamic Model of Academic Achievement in Korea

Jaesung Choi, University of Pennsylvania

Korea has the highest rates of private tutoring in the world along with very high performance on international academic tests, such as the PISA. Korea's school system is characterized by low variation in quality and curricula across schools, so private tutoring functions as a key strategy for families to invest in children. This paper seeks to estimate the effect of private tutoring on academic achievement and to evaluate the impacts of a range of government policies. It develops and estimates a dynamic discrete choice model of tutoring and self-study decisions using panel data from the 2005 to 2011 waves of the Korea Education Longitudinal Study. I then use the estimated behavioral model to conduct simulations to explore how different policies affect individual decisions, academic outcomes, and educational inequality when the government regulates hours of operation for private tutoring institutions or provides subsidies to low-income households.

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Presented in Session 105: Economic Resources, Social Context and Children’s Well-Being