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Computers and student learning: bivariate and multivariate evidence on the availability and use of computers at home and at school

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  • Thomas Fuchs
  • Ludger Wossmann

Abstract

We estimate the relationship between computers and students’ educational achievement in the international student-level PISA database. Bivariate analyses show a positive correlation between achievement and computer availability both at home and at school. However, once we control extensively for family background and school characteristics, the relationship gets negative for home computers and insignificant for school computers. Thus, mere availability of computers at home seems to distract students from effective learning. But achievement shows a positive conditional relationship with computer use for education and communication at home and an inverted U-shaped relationship with computer and internet use at school.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its journal Brussels economic review.

Volume (Year): 47 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3-4 ()
Pages: 359-386

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Handle: RePEc:bxr:bxrceb:y:2004:v:47:i:3-4:p:359-385

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Keywords: Computers at home; computers at school; student achievement; educational production; PISA;

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  1. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J, 2000. "Multitask Learning and the Reorganization of Work: From Tayloristic to Holistic Organization," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 353-76, July.
  2. Bruce Sacerdote, 2002. "The Nature and Nurture of Economic Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 344-348, May.
  3. Thomas Fuchs & Ludger Woessmann, 2004. "What Accounts for International Differences in Student Performance? A Re-examination using PISA Data," Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings 274, Econometric Society.
  4. Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 2001. "Asymptotic Properties Of Weighted M-Estimators For Standard Stratified Samples," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(02), pages 451-470, April.
  5. Borghans, Lex & ter Weel, Bas, 2004. "Are computer skills the new basic skills? The returns to computer, writing and math skills in Britain," Labour Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 85-98, February.
  6. John E. DiNardo & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1996. "The Returns to Computer Use Revisited: Have Pencils Changed the Wage Structure Too?," NBER Working Papers 5606, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Joshua Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "New Evidence on Classroom Computers and Pupil Learning," NBER Working Papers 7424, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Ludger Woessmann, 2004. "How Equal Are Educational Opportunities? Family Background and Student Achievement in Europe and the United States," CESifo Working Paper Series 1162, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Entorf, Horst & Gollac, Michel & Kramarz, Francis, 1999. "New Technologies, Wages, and Worker Selection," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(3), pages 464-91, July.
  10. Rouse, Cecilia Elena & Krueger, Alan B., 2004. "Putting computerized instruction to the test: a randomized evaluation of a "scientifically based" reading program," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 323-338, August.
  11. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
  12. Jere R. Behrman & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2002. "Does Increasing Women's Schooling Raise the Schooling of the Next Generation?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 323-334, March.
  13. Ludger Woesmann, 2003. "Schooling Resources, Educational Institutions and Student Performance: the International Evidence," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 65(2), pages 117-170, 05.
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