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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. Hull, Marie C. & Duch, Katherine, 2017. "One-To-One Technology and Student Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 10886, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Bulman, George & Fairlie, Robert W, 2015. "Technology and Education: Computers, Software, and the Internet," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt5265z87t, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
    3. 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.
    4. Yi Lu & Hong Song, 2020. "The effect of educational technology on college students’ labor market performance," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 33(3), pages 1101-1126, July.
    5. 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.
    6. Nick Huntington-Klein & Andrew Gill, 2021. "Semester Course Load and Student Performance," Research in Higher Education, Springer;Association for Institutional Research, vol. 62(5), pages 623-650, August.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Race; Technology; Achievement gap; Experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

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

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