Effects of Shadow Education

Achieving Educational Goals: Who Benefits from Investments in Shadow Education?


This chapter analyzes the Effects dimension outlined in the Shadow-Education-Inequality-Impact (SEII) Frame, specifically addressing the question whether shadow education inherits the power to enhance all students’ chances to achieve a high education level independent of socioeconomic origin. Apparently, a comparatively high percentage of academically resilient students is found in Japan, meaning students showing top performance despite disadvantaged socioeconomic background. Unfortunately, whether these students have the chance to benefit from shadow education and thus become academically resilient, thus achieving a high education level, has not been empirically researched yet. Focusing on students’ shadow education investment returns as expressed in students’ likelihood to enter prestigious high schools or universities and by extending Shadow Education Investment Theory, my calculations based on data of the 2011 Hyōgo High School Students (HHSS) survey show the following main findings:
  1. (1)

    Whether investments in shadow education increase students’ chances of gaining entrance to high-ranked schools depends largely on the duration, the used type, and the purpose of study and varies considerably across social strata.

  2. (2)

    Whereas long-term investments in juku-classes focusing on transition/entrance exams prove most effective for entrance to prestigious schools, disadvantaged strata also gain significant advantages from short-term investments in shadow education.

  3. (3)

    Even though well-off families have the advantage of making more use of all lessons, disadvantaged students gain generally higher benefits from their investments in transition-oriented classes. These findings imply that social inequalities in Japan are only significantly reduced if more disadvantaged students join the competition and make goal-oriented and purposeful investments.



Shadow education Juku Private tutoring Supplementary education Social inequality Transition to high school Transition to university Shadow Education Investment Theory SEII Frame PISA study HHSS 2011 Japan 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department for Education, Social Science Educational ResearchUniversity of PotsdamPotsdamGermany

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