Tutoring efficacy, household substitution, and student achievement : Experimental evidence from an after-school tutoring program in rural China

Jere R. BEHRMAN, C. Simon FAN, Naijia GUO, Xiangdong WEI, Hongliang ZHANG, Junsen ZHANG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


After-school tutoring has risen globally despite limited evidence of effectiveness. We implement a randomized after-school tutoring program in rural China where many children are left-behind by parents in care of grandparents. Compared to tutees cared for by parents, those in care of grandparents reported much smaller home-tutoring reductions but larger test-score gains. We interpret our data analysis with a model with tutoring efficacy and substitution between private and public inputs both differing by family background: Increased public tutoring generates larger test-score gains for children who experience greater tutoring efficacy and lesser substitution with household inputs, consistent with our estimates.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Economic Review
Early online date28 Aug 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

We thank Joshua Angrist, Jonathan Davis, Weili Ding, Esther Duflo, Steven Lehrer, Leign Linden, Xiang Ma, Mark Rosenzweig, and seminar participants at the National University of Singapore, Peking University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Seoul National University, 2016 Asian Family in Transition Conference, and2019 Asian and Australasian Society of Labour Economists Conference for valuable discussion and comments. We are also grateful to the Educational Bureau of the Longhui County in China for administrative support, and Chuantao Cui, Sudong Hua, Bei Luo, Amy Ru Chien Tseng, Baojun Wang, Kunlun Wang, Jia Wu, and Xiang Zhou for excellent research assistance. We acknowledge funding support provided by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 71173178), Hong Kong Research Grants Council General Research Fund (No. 458910), and the Chinese University of Hong Kong Research Committee Group Research Scheme. This study is registered in the AEA RCT Registry and the unique identifying number is AEARCTR-0005294.The study obtained approval from the Chinese University of Hong Kong Survey and Behavioural Research Ethics Committee and informed consent from the guardians of the students involved in the experiment.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 the Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.


Dive into the research topics of 'Tutoring efficacy, household substitution, and student achievement : Experimental evidence from an after-school tutoring program in rural China'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this