Global patterns of the use of shadow education: Student, family, and national influences

Soo Yong Byun, Hee Jin Chung, David P. Baker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Building on the first cross-national study that had demystified various assumptions about the worldwide use of shadow education two decades ago, we analyze data from the 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment to examine the cross-national pattern of the use of shadow education by families in 64 nations and use improved statistical estimation methods. Focusing on fee-paying out-of-school classes, we find a continued, and likely an intensified pattern of the cross-national use of shadow education in the contemporary world. Approximately about one-third of all 15-year-old students from 64 countries/economies across the world use this form of shadow education. Students of higher socioeconomic status, females, and students in urban areas and general programs are more likely to use fee-paying services, while families and students turn to these services to address academic deficiencies in general. In addition, students from poorer countries more extensively rely on shadow education than students from wealthier countries after controlling for other variables. Students in South-Eastern and Eastern Asian countries are more likely to pursue shadow education than their counterparts in many other regions. Implications of these findings for theories of education and society as well as for educational policy in relation to shadow education are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch in the Sociology of Education
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages35
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NameResearch in the Sociology of Education
ISSN (Print)1479-3539

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by Emerald Publishing Limited All rights of reproduction in any form reserved.


  • Cross-national analysis
  • PISA
  • Shadow education


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