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Dynamic Treatment Effect Analysis of TV Effects on Child Cognitive Development

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  • Fali Huang

    (SMU)

  • Myoung-jae Lee

Abstract

We investigate whether TV watching at ages 6-7 and 8-9 affects cognitive development measured by math and reading scores at ages 8-9 using a rich childhood longitudinal sample from NLSY79. Dynamic panel data models are estimated to handle the unobserved child-specific factor, endogeneity of TV watching, and dynamic nature of the causal relation. A special emphasis is put on the last aspect where TV watching affects cognitive development which in turn affects the future TV watching. When this feedback occurs, it is not straightforward to identify and estimate the TV effect. We adopt estimation methods available in the biostatistics literature which can deal with the feedback feature; we also apply the standard econometric panel data IV approaches. Overall, for math score at ages 8-9, we find that watching TV for more than two hours per day during ages 6-9 has a negative total effect mostly due to a large negative effect of TV watching at the younger ages 6-7. For reading score, there are evidences that TV watching between 2-4 hours per day has a positive effect whereas the effect is negative outside this range. In both cases, however, the effect magnitudes are economically small.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by East Asian Bureau of Economic Research in its series Development Economics Working Papers with number 22445.

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Date of creation: Jan 2007
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Handle: RePEc:eab:develo:22445

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Postal: JG Crawford Building #13, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, Australian National University, ACT 0200
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Keywords: TV watching; treatment effect; panel data; dynamic model; Granger Causality;

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  1. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2008. "Preschool Television Viewing and Adolescent Test Scores: Historical Evidence from the Coleman Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(1), pages 279-323, 02.
  2. James J. Heckman, 2000. "Policies to Foster Human Capital," JCPR Working Papers 154, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
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  4. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2006. "Does Television Rot Your Brain? New Evidence from the Coleman Study," NBER Working Papers 12021, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Myoung-Jae Lee & Satoru Kobayashi, 2001. "Proportional treatment effects for count response panel data: effects of binary exercise on health care demand," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(5), pages 411-428.
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  7. Michael Lechner, 2004. "Sequential Matching Estimation of Dynamic Causal Models," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2004 2004-06, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  8. Keane, Michael P & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1997. "The Career Decisions of Young Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(3), pages 473-522, June.
  9. Joshua Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments," NBER Working Papers 8456, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Granger, C W J, 1969. "Investigating Causal Relations by Econometric Models and Cross-Spectral Methods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(3), pages 424-38, July.
  11. 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.
  12. repec:fth:prinin:455 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Newey, Whitney & Rosen, Harvey S, 1988. "Estimating Vector Autoregressions with Panel Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1371-95, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Agne Suziedelyte, 2012. "Can video games affect children's cognitive and non-cognitive skills?," Discussion Papers 2012-37, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.

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