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HOME COMPUTERS AND EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES: EVIDENCE FROM THE NLSY97 and CPS-super-

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  • ROBERT W. FAIRLIE
  • DANIEL O. BELTRAN
  • KUNTAL K. DAS

Abstract

"Although computers are universal in the classroom, nearly 20 million children in the United States do not have computers in their homes. Surprisingly, only a few previous studies explore the role of home computers in the educational process. Home computers might be very useful for completing school assignments, but they might also represent a distraction for teenagers. We use several identification strategies and panel data from the two main U.S. data sets that include recent information on computer ownership among children-the 2000-2003 Current Population Survey (CPS) Computer and Internet Use Supplements matched to the CPS basic monthly files and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97)-to explore the causal relationship between computer ownership and high school graduation and other educational outcomes. Teenagers who have access to home computers are 6-8 percentage points more likely to graduate from high school than teenagers who do not have home computers after controlling for individual, parental, and family characteristics. We generally find evidence of positive relationships between home computers and educational outcomes using several identification strategies, including controlling for typically unobservable home environment and extracurricular activities in the NLSY97, fixed effects models, instrumental variables, and including future computer ownership and falsification tests. Home computers may increase high school graduation by reducing nonproductive activities, such as truancy and crime, among children in addition to making it easier to complete school assignments" ("JEL" I2). Copyright (c) 2009 Western Economic Association International.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert W. Fairlie & Daniel O. Beltran & Kuntal K. Das, 2010. "HOME COMPUTERS AND EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES: EVIDENCE FROM THE NLSY97 and CPS-super-," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(3), pages 771-792, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:48:y:2010:i:3:p:771-792
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Goolsbee, Austan & Klenow, Peter J, 2002. "Evidence on Learning and Network Externalities in the Diffusion of Home Computers," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(2), pages 317-343, October.
    2. Fairlie, Robert W., 2005. "The effects of home computers on school enrollment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 533-547, October.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Richard B. Freeman, 2002. "The Labour Market in the New Information Economy," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(3), pages 288-305.
    6. Thomas Fuchs & Ludger Wossmann, 2004. "Computers and student learning: bivariate and multivariate evidence on the availability and use of computers at home and at school," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 47(3-4), pages 359-386.
    7. Goldfarb, Avi & Prince, Jeff, 2008. "Internet adoption and usage patterns are different: Implications for the digital divide," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 2-15, March.
    8. Chuang, Hwei-Lin, 1997. "High school youths' dropout and re-enrollment behavior," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 171-186, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    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, June.
    2. Fairlie Robert W., 2016. "Do Boys and Girls Use Computers Differently, and Does It Contribute to Why Boys do Worse in School Than Girls?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 16(1), pages 59-96, January.
    3. Robert W. Fairlie & Samantha H. Grunberg, 2014. "Access To Technology And The Transfer Function Of Community Colleges: Evidence From A Field Experiment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(3), pages 1040-1059, July.
    4. Schwerdt, Guido & Chingos, Matthew M., 2015. "Virtual Schooling and Student Learning: Evidence from the Florida Virtual School," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113202, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. 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 211-240, July.
    6. de Melo Gioia & Machado Alina & Miranda Alfonso, 2014. "The Impact of a One Laptop per Child Program on Learning: Evidence from Uruguay," Working Papers 2014-22, Banco de México.
    7. Benjamin Faber & Rosa Sanchis-Guarner & Felix Weinhardt, 2015. "ICT and Education: Evidence from Student Home Addresses," SERC Discussion Papers 0186, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
    8. George Bulman & Robert W. Fairlie, 2015. "Technology and Education: Computers, Software, and the Internet," CESifo Working Paper Series 5570, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Agasisti, Tommaso & Gil-Izquierdo, María & Han, Seong Won, 2017. "ICT use at home for school-related tasks: what is the effect on a student’s achievement? Empirical evidence from OECD PISA data," MPRA Paper 81343, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Aaron Chatterji, 2017. "Innovation and American K-12 Education," NBER Working Papers 23531, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Laura Pagani & Gianluca Argentin & Marco Gui & Luca Stanca, 2015. "The Impact of Digital Skills on Educational Outcomes: Evidence from Performance Tests," Working Papers 304, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2015.
    12. Diether W. Beuermann & Julian Cristia & Santiago Cueto & Ofer Malamud & Yyannu Cruz-Aguayo, 2015. "One Laptop per Child at Home: Short-Term Impacts from a Randomized Experiment in Peru," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 53-80, April.
    13. Margarita Billon & Fernando Lera-Lopez & Rocio Marco, 2016. "ICT use by households and firms in the EU: links and determinants from a multivariate perspective," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 152(4), pages 629-654, November.
    14. repec:nbr:nberch:13934 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. 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.
    16. Roland G. Fryer, Jr, 2016. "The Production of Human Capital in Developed Countries: Evidence from 196 Randomized Field Experiments," NBER Working Papers 22130, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

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