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Is There an Impact of Household Computer Ownership on Childrens Educational Attainment in Britain?

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  • John Schmitt
  • Jonathan Wadsworth

Abstract

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

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0625.

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Date of creation: Mar 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0625

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Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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Keywords: Human capital; Economic Impact; Personal Computers;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. John Schmitt & Jonathan Wadsworth, 2002. "Give PCs a Chance: Personal Computer Ownership and the Digital Divide in the United States and Great Britain," CEP Discussion Papers dp0526, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Joshua Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "New Evidence on Classroom Computers and Pupil Learning," NBER Working Papers 7424, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Entorf, Horst & Gollac, Michel & Kramarz, Francis, 1997. "New Technologies, Wages and Worker Selection," CEPR Discussion Papers 1761, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Fairlie, Robert W., 2012. "Academic achievement, technology and race: Experimental evidence," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 663-679.
  3. Fairlie, Robert W. & Robinson, Jonathan, 2013. "Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Home Computers on Academic Achievement among Schoolchildren," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt5759k24s, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
  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. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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).
  10. 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.

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