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Broadband internet, digital temptations, and sleep

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  • Billari, Francesco C.
  • Giuntella, Osea
  • Stella, Luca

Abstract

There is a growing concern that the widespread use of computers, mobile phones and other digital devices before bedtime disrupts our sleep with detrimental effects on our health and cognitive performance. High-speed Internet promotes the use of electronic devices, video games and Internet addiction (e.g., online games and cyberloafing). Exposure to artificial light from tablets and PCs can alterate individuals’ sleep patterns. However, there is little empirical evidence on the causal relationship between technology use near bedtime and sleep. This paper studies the causal effects of access to high-speed Internet on sleep. We first show that playing video games, using PC or smartphones, watching TV or movies are correlated with shorter sleep duration. Second, we exploit historical differences in pre-existing telephone infrastructure that affected the deployment of high-speed Internet across Germany (see Falck et al., 2014) to identify a source of plausibly exogenous variation in access to Broadband. Using this instrumental variable strategy, we find that access to high-speed Internet (DSL) access reduces sleep duration and sleep satisfaction. Results are driven by individuals who face work or family time constraints.

Suggested Citation

  • Billari, Francesco C. & Giuntella, Osea & Stella, Luca, 2018. "Broadband internet, digital temptations, and sleep," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 58-76.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:153:y:2018:i:c:p:58-76
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2018.07.001
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    Cited by:

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    2. Donati, Dante & Durante, Ruben & Sobbrio, Francesco & Zejcirovic, Dijana, 2022. "Lost in the Net? Broadband Internet and Youth Mental Health," IZA Discussion Papers 15202, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Michele Cantarella & Nicolo' Fraccaroli & Roberto Volpe, 2019. "Does fake news affect voting behaviour?," Department of Economics 0146, University of Modena and Reggio E., Faculty of Economics "Marco Biagi".
    4. Deepika Mishra & Natasha Tageja, 2022. "Cyberslacking for Coping Stress? Exploring the Role of Mindfulness as Personal Resource," International Journal of Global Business and Competitiveness, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 56-67, December.
    5. Golin, Marta & Romarri, Alessio, 2022. "Broadband Internet and Attitudes Towards Migrants: Evidence from Spain," IZA Discussion Papers 15804, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Jin, Lawrence & Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2020. "Sleep, health, and human capital: Evidence from daylight saving time," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 170(C), pages 174-192.
    7. Massimo Anelli & Osea Giuntella & Luca Stella, 2021. "Robots, Marriageable Men, Family, and Fertility," CESifo Working Paper Series 9378, CESifo.
    8. Jiewen Yang & Yangfeng Guo & Xueying Du & Yi Jiang & Wanxin Wang & Di Xiao & Tian Wang & Ciyong Lu & Lan Guo, 2018. "Association between Problematic Internet Use and Sleep Disturbance among Adolescents: The Role of the Child’s Sex," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 15(12), pages 1-9, November.
    9. Lei, Lei & Yu, Dandan & Zhou, Yang, 2023. "Better educated children, better Internet-connected elderly parents," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(4).
    10. Dennis M. Feehan & Curtiss Cobb, 2019. "Using an Online Sample to Estimate the Size of an Offline Population," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 56(6), pages 2377-2392, December.
    11. Nie, Peng & Peng, Xu & Luo, Tianyuan, 2023. "Internet use and fertility behavior among reproductive-age women in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 77(C).
    12. Wang, Yi & Niu, Geng & Zhou, Yang & Lu, Weijie, 2023. "Broadband internet and stock market participation," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 85(C).
    13. Anelli, Massimo & Giuntella, Osea & Stella, Luca, 2019. "Robots, Labor Markets, and Family Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 12820, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Marta Golin, 2022. "The effect of broadband Internet on the gender gap in mental health: Evidence from Germany," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(S2), pages 6-21, October.
    15. Laura M. Argys & Susan L. Averett & Muzhe Yang, 2021. "Light pollution, sleep deprivation, and infant health at birth," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 87(3), pages 849-888, January.
    16. Joan Costa-Font, 2022. "Incentivizing sleep?," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 502-502, November.
    17. Sabatini, Fabio, 2023. "The Behavioral, Economic, and Political Impact of the Internet and Social Media: Empirical Challenges and Approaches," IZA Discussion Papers 16703, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    18. Jessica Van Parys & Zach Y. Brown, 2023. "Broadband Internet Access and Health Outcomes: Patient and Provider Responses in Medicare," NBER Working Papers 31579, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Internet; Sleep duration; Time use;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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