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Broadband in School: Impact on Student Performance

Author

Listed:
  • Rodrigo Belo

    (H. John Heinz III College, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213)

  • Pedro Ferreira

    (H. John Heinz III College and Engineering and Public Policy Department, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213)

  • Rahul Telang

    (H. John Heinz III College, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213)

Abstract

This paper examines the effects of providing broadband to schools on students' performance. We use a rich panel of data on broadband use and students' grades from all middle schools in Portugal. Employing a first-differences specification to control for school-specific unobserved effects and instrumenting the quality of broadband to account for unobserved time-varying effects, we show that high levels of broadband use in schools were detrimental for grades on the ninth-grade national exams in Portugal. For the average broadband use in schools, grades reduced 0.78 of a standard deviation from 2005 to 2009. We also show that broadband has a negative impact on exam scores regardless of gender, subject, or school quality and that the way schools allow students to use the Internet affects their performance. In particular, students in schools that block access to websites such as YouTube perform relatively better.Data, as supplemental material, are available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.2013.1770 . This paper was accepted by Lorin Hitt, information systems.

Suggested Citation

  • Rodrigo Belo & Pedro Ferreira & Rahul Telang, 2014. "Broadband in School: Impact on Student Performance," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 60(2), pages 265-282, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:60:y:2014:i:2:p:265-282
    DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.2013.1770
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    Cited by:

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    2. Henriksen, Alexandre Lauri & Zoghbi, Ana Carolina & Tannuri-Pianto, Maria & Terra, Rafael, 2022. "Education outcomes of broadband expansion in Brazilian municipalities," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C).
    3. Hull, Marie C. & Duch, Katherine, 2017. "One-To-One Technology and Student Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 10886, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Rosa Sanchis-Guarner & José Montalbán & Felix Weinhardt, 2021. "Home Broadband and Human Capital Formation," CESifo Working Paper Series 8846, CESifo.
    5. 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.
    6. Marie Hyland & Richard Layte & Seán Lyons & Selina McCoy & Mary Silles, 2015. "Are Classroom Internet Use and Academic Performance Higher after Government Broadband Subsidies to Primary Schools?," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 46(3), pages 399-428.
    7. Peter Leopold S. Bergman & Todd Rogers, 2017. "The Impact of Defaults on Technology Adoption, and its Underappreciation by Policymakers," CESifo Working Paper Series 6721, CESifo.
    8. Rodrigo Belo & Pedro Ferreira & Rahul Telang, 2016. "Spillovers from Wiring Schools with Broadband: The Critical Role of Children," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 62(12), pages 3450-3471, December.
    9. Carlo Cambini & Elena Grinza & Lorien Sabatino, 2021. "Ultra-Fast Broadband Access and Productivity: Evidence from Italian Firms," Working Papers CEB 21-020, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    10. Carlo Cambini & Lorien Sabatino & Sarah Zaccagni, 2021. "The Faster the Better? The Effect of Ultra-Fast Broadband on Students’ Performance," CEBI working paper series 21-14, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. The Center for Economic Behavior and Inequality (CEBI).

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