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Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Home Computers on Academic Achievement among Schoolchildren

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  • Robert W. Fairlie
  • Jonathan Robinson

Abstract

Computers are an important part of modern education, yet many schoolchildren lack access to a computer at home. We test whether this impedes educational achievement by conducting the largest-ever field experiment that randomly provides free home computers to students. Although computer ownership and use increased substantially, we find no effects on any educational outcomes, including grades, test scores, credits earned, attendance and disciplinary actions. Our estimates are precise enough to rule out even modestly-sized positive or negative impacts. The estimated null effect is consistent with survey evidence showing no change in homework time or other "intermediate" inputs in education.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19060.

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Date of creation: May 2013
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Publication status: published as Robert W. Fairlie & Jonathan Robinson, 2013. "Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Home Computers on Academic Achievement among Schoolchildren," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 211-40, July.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19060

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Cited by:
  1. 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).

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