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Academic achievement, technology and race: Experimental evidence

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  • Fairlie, Robert W.

Abstract

Although a large literature explores the achievement gap between minority and non-minority students, very little is known about whether disparities in access to technology are partly responsible. Data from the first-ever field experiment involving the random provision of free computers to low-income community college students for home use are used to explore whether home computers are beneficial to minority students. I find that minority students receiving free computers achieved better educational outcomes than the control group that did not receive free computers. Minority students may have benefitted more from receiving free computers because of fewer alternatives for accessing home computers due to lower rates of computer ownership among family, friends, and relatives. Implications for the achievement gap and policy are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Fairlie, Robert W., 2012. "Academic achievement, technology and race: Experimental evidence," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 663-679.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:31:y:2012:i:5:p:663-679
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2012.04.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Patterson, Richard W. & Patterson, Robert M., 2017. "Computers and productivity: Evidence from laptop use in the college classroom," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 66-79.
    2. Bulman, George & Fairlie, Robert W., 2015. "Technology and Education: Computers, Software, and the Internet," IZA Discussion Papers 9432, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Race; Technology; Achievement gap; Experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality

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