IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/auu/dpaper/576.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Are Computers Good for Children? The Effects of Home Computers on Educational Outcomes

Author

Listed:
  • Daniel O. Beltran
  • Kuntal K. Das
  • Robert W. Fairlie

Abstract

Although computers are universal in the classroom, nearly twenty 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. datasets that include recent information on computer ownership among children -- the 2000-2003 CPS Computer and Internet Use Supplements (CIUS) matched to the CPS Basic Monthly Files and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 -- 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 to 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 non-productive activities, such as truancy and crime, among children in addition to making it easier to complete school assignments.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel O. Beltran & Kuntal K. Das & Robert W. Fairlie, 2008. "Are Computers Good for Children? The Effects of Home Computers on Educational Outcomes," CEPR Discussion Papers 576, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:auu:dpaper:576
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.cbe.anu.edu.au/researchpapers/cepr/DP576.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Chuang, Hwei-Lin, 1997. "High school youths' dropout and re-enrollment behavior," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 171-186, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Fiorini, M., 2010. "The effect of home computer use on children's cognitive and non-cognitive skills," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 55-72, February.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Robert W. Fairlie & Daniel O. Beltran & Kuntal K. Das, 2010. "HOME COMPUTERS AND EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES: EVIDENCE FROM THE NLSY97 and CPS," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(3), pages 771-792, July.
    2. Beltran, Daniel O. & Das, Kuntal K. & Fairlie, Robert W., 2006. "Do Home Computers Improve Educational Outcomes? Evidence from Matched Current Population Surveys and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997," IZA Discussion Papers 1912, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Fairlie, Robert W. & Kalil, Ariel, 2017. "The effects of computers on children's social development and school participation: Evidence from a randomized control experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 10-19.
    4. 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.
    5. Robert Fairlie & Jonathan Robinson, 2011. "The Effects of Home Computers on Educational Outcomes. Evidence from a Field Experiment with Schoolchildren," Working Papers 11-14, NET Institute, revised Sep 2011.
    6. George Bulman & Robert W. Fairlie, 2015. "Technology and Education: Computers, Software, and the Internet," CESifo Working Paper Series 5570, CESifo.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. Schwerdt, Guido & Chingos, Matthew M., 2015. "Virtual Schooling and Student Learning: Evidence from the Florida Virtual School," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113202, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. Ofer Malamud, 2019. "The Effect of Home Computers and the Internet on Children’s Human Capital Development," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 17(02), pages 34-40, August.
    15. Fairlie, Robert W., 2012. "Academic achievement, technology and race: Experimental evidence," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 663-679.
    16. Francesco Venturini, 2005. "How Much Does IT Consumption Matter for Growth? Evidence from National Accounts," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 95(1), pages 57-110, January-F.
    17. Fairlie, Robert W. & Bahr, Peter Riley, 2018. "The effects of computers and acquired skills on earnings, employment and college enrollment: Evidence from a field experiment and California UI earnings records," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 51-63.
    18. Kolko, Jed, 2010. "How broadband changes online and offline behaviors," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 144-152, May.
    19. Drouard, Joeffrey, 2011. "Costs or gross benefits? - What mainly drives cross-sectional variance in Internet adoption," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 127-140, March.
    20. Fairlie, Robert W., 2005. "The effects of home computers on school enrollment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 533-547, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    technology; computers; education;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:auu:dpaper:576. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cpanuau.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.