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Can video games affect children's cognitive and non-cognitive skills?

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  • Agne Suziedelyte

    ()
    (The University of New South Wales)

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to investigate whether there is a causal relationship between video game playing and children's cognitive and non-cognitive skills. According to the literature, video games have a potential to improve children's cognitive abilities. Video games may also positively a ect such non-cognitive skills as the ability to sustain attention and pro-social behavior. On the other hand, there are concerns that video games can teach children to behave aggressively. The Child Development Supplement to the Panel Study of Income Dynamics is used for the analysis. The key advantages of this data set are its panel nature, which allows addressing the endogeneity of video game playing, and the time diary component, which provides a reliable measure of children's video game time. I nd that video game playing has a positive statistically signi cant e ect on some of the cognitive skills. More speci cally, an increase in video game time is found to improve children's ability to solve problems. There is no statistically signi cant effect of video game playing on children's reading skills, once other variables are held fixed. The findings of this study support the hypothesis that video game playing may improve certain non-cognitive skills. Moreover, there is no evidence that video game playing increases aggressiveness in children.

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File URL: http://research.economics.unsw.edu.au/RePEc/papers/2012-37.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School of Economics, The University of New South Wales in its series Discussion Papers with number 2012-37.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:swe:wpaper:2012-37

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Keywords: cognitive and non-cognitive skills; human capital; video game playing; time use; children;

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  1. 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.
  2. Gordon B. Dahl & Lance Lochner, 2011. "The Impact of Family Income on Child Achievement: Evidence from the Earned Income Tax Credit," Working Papers 2011-022, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  3. Fali Huang & Myoung-jae Lee, 2009. "Dynamic Treatment Effect Analysis of TV Effects on Child Cognitive Development," Discussion Paper Series 0906, Institute of Economic Research, Korea University.
  4. Flavio Cunha & James Heckman, 2007. "The Technology of Skill Formation," NBER Working Papers 12840, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2008. "Formulating, Identifying and Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
  6. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2004. "The Production of Cognitive Achievement in Children: Home, School and Racial Test Score Gaps," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-019, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  7. Michael Keane & Mario Fiorini, 2012. "How the Allocation of Children's Time Affects Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Development," Economics Series Working Papers 2012-W09, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  8. Pollak, Robert A, 1988. "Tied Transfers and Paternalistic Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 240-44, May.
  9. 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.
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