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Technology and Child Development: Evidence from the One Laptop per Child Program

  • Julian Cristia


  • Pablo Ibarraran
  • Santiago Cueto
  • Ana Santiago
  • Eugenio Severin

Although many countries are aggressively implementing the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) program, there is a lack of empirical evidence on its effects. This paper presents the impact of the first large-scale randomized evaluation of the OLPC program, using data collected after 15 months of implementation in 319 primary schools in rural Peru. The results indicate that the program increased the ratio of computers per student from 0. 12 to 1. 18 in treatment schools. This expansion in access translated into substantial increases in use both at school and at home. No evidence is found of effects on enrollment and test scores in Math and Language. Some positive effects are found, however, in general cognitive skills as measured by Raven’s Progressive Matrices, a verbal fluency test and a Coding test.

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Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 4764.

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Date of creation: Feb 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4764
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  1. Jacob L. Vigdor & Helen F. Ladd & Erika Martinez, 2014. "Scaling The Digital Divide: Home Computer Technology And Student Achievement," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(3), pages 1103-1119, 07.
  2. Stephen Machin & Sandra McNally & Olmo Silva, 2007. "New Technology in Schools: Is There a Payoff?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(522), pages 1145-1167, 07.
  3. Lisa Barrow & Lisa Markman & Cecilia E. Rouse, 2008. "Technology's Edge: The Educational Benefits of Computer-Aided Instruction," NBER Working Papers 14240, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Barrera-Osorio, Felipe & Linden, Leigh L., 2009. "The use and misuse of computers in education : evidence from a randomized experiment in Colombia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4836, The World Bank.
  5. Paul Carrillo & Mercedes Onofa & Juan Ponce, 2011. "Information Technology and Student Achievement: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Ecuador," Research Department Publications 4698, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  6. repec:oup:qjecon:v:126:y:2011:i:2:p:987-1027 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Ofer Malamud & Cristian Pop-Eleches, 2010. "Home Computer Use and the Development of Human Capital," NBER Working Papers 15814, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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