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Is There an Impact of Household Computer Ownership on Childrens Educational Attainment in Britain?

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  • John Schmitt
  • Jonathan Wadsworth

Abstract

If personal computers (PCs) are used to enhance learning and information gathering across avariety of subjects, then a home computer might reasonably be considered an input in aneducational production function. Using data on British youths from the British HouseholdPanel Survey between 1991 and 2001, this paper attempts to explore the link betweenownership of a home computer at ages 15 and 17 and subsequent educational attainment inthe principal British school examinations taken at ages 16 (GCSEs) and 18 (A levels). Thedata show a significant positive associatio n between PC ownership and both the number ofGCSEs obtained and the probability of passing five or more GCSEs. These results survive aset of individual, household, and area controls, including using other household durables and\"future\" PC ownership as proxies for household wealth and other unobservable householdlevel effects. Home computer ownership is also associated with a significant increase in theprobability of passing at least one A level conditional on having passed five and increase inthe probability of successfully completing three or more A levels, conditional on havingpassed at least one A level.

Suggested Citation

  • John Schmitt & Jonathan Wadsworth, 2004. "Is There an Impact of Household Computer Ownership on Childrens Educational Attainment in Britain?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0625, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0625
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Keueger, 1991. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 979-1014.
    2. Schmitt, John & Wadsworth, Jonathan, 2002. "Give PC's a chance: personal computer ownership and the digital divide in the United States and Great Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20086, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Robert W. Fairlie & Daniel O. Beltran & Kuntal K. Das, 2010. "HOME COMPUTERS AND EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES: EVIDENCE FROM THE NLSY97 and CPS-super-," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(3), pages 771-792, July.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Schwerdt, Guido & Chingos, Matthew M., 2015. "Virtual Schooling and Student Learning: Evidence from the Florida Virtual School," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113202, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. 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 for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Robert W. Fairlie & Peter Riley Bahr, 2018. "The Effects of Computers and Acquired Skills on Earnings, Employment and College Enrollment: Evidence from a Fields Experiment and California UI Earnings Records," CESifo Working Paper Series 6860, CESifo Group Munich.
    12. George Bulman & Robert W. Fairlie, 2015. "Technology and Education: Computers, Software, and the Internet," CESifo Working Paper Series 5570, CESifo Group Munich.
    13. Fairlie, Robert W., 2012. "Academic achievement, technology and race: Experimental evidence," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 663-679.
    14. 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.
    15. 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.
    16. Chowa, Gina A.N. & Masa, Rainier D. & Wretman, Christopher J. & Ansong, David, 2013. "The impact of household possessions on youth's academic achievement in the Ghana Youthsave experiment: A propensity score analysis," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 69-81.
    17. 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.
    18. 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.
    19. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Human capital; Economic Impact; Personal Computers;

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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