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Is there an impact of household computer ownership on children's educational attainment in Britain?

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  • Schmitt, John
  • Wadsworth, Jonathan

Abstract

If personal computers (PCs) are used to enhance learning and information gathering across a variety of subjects, then a home computer might reasonably be considered an input in an educational production function. Using data on British youths from the British Household Panel Survey between 1991 and 2001, this paper attempts to explore the link between ownership of a home computer at ages 15 and 17 and subsequent educational attainment in the principal British school examinations taken at ages 16 (GCSEs) and 18 (A levels). The data show a significant positive associatio n between PC ownership and both the number of GCSEs obtained and the probability of passing five or more GCSEs. These results survive a set of individual, household, and area controls, including using other household durables and \"future\" PC ownership as proxies for household wealth and other unobservable household level effects. Home computer ownership is also associated with a significant increase in the probability of passing at least one A level conditional on having passed five and increase in the probability of successfully completing three or more A levels, conditional on having passed at least one A level.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

Volume (Year): 25 (2006)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 659-673

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:25:y:2006:i:6:p:659-673

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

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References

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  1. Joshua Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "New Evidence on Classroom Computers and Pupil Learning," NBER Working Papers 7424, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Angrist, Joshua D & Krueger, Alan B, 1991. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 979-1014, November.
  3. DiNardo, John E & Pischke, Jorn-Steffen, 1997. "The Returns to Computer Use Revisited: Have Pencils Changed the Wage Structure Too?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 291-303, February.
  4. Entorf, Horst & Gollac, Michel & Kramarz, Francis, 1997. "New Technologies, Wages and Worker Selection," CEPR Discussion Papers 1761, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. John Schmitt & Jonathan Wadsworth, 2002. "Give PC's a chance: personal computer ownership and the digital divide in the United States and Great Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20086, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. Brian D. Bell, . "Skill-Biased Technical Change and Wages: Evidence from a Longitudinal Data Se," Economics Papers W25., Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Fairlie, Robert W. & Robinson, Jonathan, 2013. "Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Home Computers on Academic Achievement among Schoolchildren," IZA Discussion Papers 7211, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Fairlie, Robert W., 2012. "The effects of home access to technology on computer skills: Evidence from a field experiment," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 243-253.
  3. Robert W. Fairlie & Rebecca A. London, 2013. "The Effects of Home Computers on Educational Outcomes: Evidence from a Field Experiment with Community College Students," CESifo Working Paper Series 4523, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Fairlie, Robert W., 2012. "Academic achievement, technology and race: Experimental evidence," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 663-679.
  5. Daniel O. Beltran & Kuntal K. Das & Robert W. Fairlie, 2008. "Are Computers Good for Children? The Effects of Home Computers on Educational Outcomes," CEPR Discussion Papers 576, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  6. Francesco Venturini, 2005. "How Much Does IT Consumption Matter for Growth? Evidence from National Accounts," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 95(1), pages 57-110, January-F.
  7. Fairlie, Robert W. & Grunberg, Samantha H., 2013. "Access to Technology and the Transfer Function of Community Colleges: Evidence from a Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 7764, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Robert Fairlie & Jonathan Robinson, 2011. "The Effects of Home Computers on Educational Outcomes. Evidence from a Field Experiment with Schoolchildren," Working Papers 11-14, NET Institute, revised Sep 2011.
  9. Chowa, Gina A.N. & Masa, Rainier D. & Wretman, Christopher J. & Ansong, David, 2013. "The impact of household possessions on youth's academic achievement in the Ghana Youthsave experiment: A propensity score analysis," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 69-81.
  10. Beltran, Daniel O. & Das, Kuntal K. & Fairlie, Robert W., 2006. "Do Home Computers Improve Educational Outcomes? Evidence from Matched Current Population Surveys and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997," IZA Discussion Papers 1912, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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