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Home broadband and human capital formation

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  • Jose Montalban
  • Rosa Sanchis-Guarner
  • Felix Weinhardt

Abstract

Using administrative data, we estimate the effect of home broadband speed on student-level value-added test scores. Our headline estimate relies on jumps in connection quality between close neighbours that occur across thousands of invisible telephone exchange station catchment-area boundaries. We find that increasing speed by 1 Mbit/s increases test scores by 1.37 percentile ranks, equivalent to 5% of a standard deviation. School-level factors or broadband take-up cannot explain this. Instead, the positive effects are concentrated among high-ability and non-free-school-meal eligible students and result from more education-oriented internet use. Differences in ICT quality can thus lead to increasing education inequalities.

Suggested Citation

  • Jose Montalban & Rosa Sanchis-Guarner & Felix Weinhardt, 2024. "Home broadband and human capital formation," CEP Discussion Papers dp1979, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1979
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    broadband; education; spatial regression discontinuity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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