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Academic achievement, technology and race: Experimental evidence

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  • Fairlie, Robert W.

Abstract

Although a large literature explores the achievement gap between minority and non-minority students, very little is known about whether disparities in access to technology are partly responsible. Data from the first-ever field experiment involving the random provision of free computers to low-income community college students for home use are used to explore whether home computers are beneficial to minority students. I find that minority students receiving free computers achieved better educational outcomes than the control group that did not receive free computers. Minority students may have benefitted more from receiving free computers because of fewer alternatives for accessing home computers due to lower rates of computer ownership among family, friends, and relatives. Implications for the achievement gap and policy are discussed.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 31 (2012)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 663-679

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:31:y:2012:i:5:p:663-679

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

Related research

Keywords: Race; Technology; Achievement gap; Experiment;

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References

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  1. Robert W. Fairlie & Rebecca A. London, 2012. "The Effects of Home Computers on Educational Outcomes: Evidence from a Field Experiment with Community College Students," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(561), pages 727-753, 06.
  2. Schmitt, John & Wadsworth, Jonathan, 2006. "Is there an impact of household computer ownership on children's educational attainment in Britain?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 659-673, December.
  3. Thomas Fuchs & Ludger Woessmann, 2004. "Computers and Student Learning: Bivariate and Multivariate Evidence on the Availability and Use of Computers at Home and at School," CESifo Working Paper Series 1321, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Fairlie Robert W, 2004. "Race and the Digital Divide," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-40, September.
  5. Ofer Malamud & Cristian Pop-Eleches, 2011. "Home Computer Use and the Development of Human Capital," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(2), pages 987-1027.
  6. Joseph G. Altonji & Rebecca M. Blank, . "Race and Gender in the Labor Market," IPR working papers 98-18, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
  7. Zavodny, Madeline, 2006. "Does watching television rot your mind? Estimates of the effect on test scores," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 565-573, October.
  8. Fiorini, M., 2010. "The effect of home computer use on children's cognitive and non-cognitive skills," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 55-72, February.
  9. Hiroshi Ono & Madeline Zavodny, 2002. "Race, Internet usage, and E-commerce," Working Paper 2002-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  10. Fairlie, Robert W., 2005. "The effects of home computers on school enrollment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 533-547, October.
  11. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
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