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Home Computers and Child Outcomes: Short-Term Impacts from a Randomized Experiment in Peru

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Listed:
  • Diether Beuermann
  • Julian Cristia
  • Yyannu Cruz-Aguayo
  • Santiago Cueto
  • Ofer Malamud

Abstract

This paper presents results from a randomized control trial in which approximately 1,000 OLPC XO laptops were provided for home use to children attending primary schools in Lima, Peru. The intervention increased access and use of home computers, with some substitution away from computer use outside the home. Beneficiaries were more likely to complete domestic chores but less likely to read books. Treatment children scored almost one standard deviation higher in a test of XO proficiency, though there were no effects on objective and self-reported skills for using a Windows-based PC and Internet. There were positive impacts on the Raven's Progressive Matrices test among children who did not have a home computer before the intervention, but no significant effects for the sample as a whole. Finally, there was little evidence for spillovers within schools, although close friends and classmates of laptop recipients did exhibit higher proficiency with the XO computer.

Suggested Citation

  • Diether Beuermann & Julian Cristia & Yyannu Cruz-Aguayo & Santiago Cueto & Ofer Malamud, 2012. "Home Computers and Child Outcomes: Short-Term Impacts from a Randomized Experiment in Peru," Research Department Publications 4813, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4813
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Julian Cristia & Pablo Ibarrarán & Santiago Cueto & Ana Santiago & Eugenio Severín, 2017. "Technology and Child Development: Evidence from the One Laptop per Child Program," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 295-320, July.
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    5. Esther Duflo & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "The Role of Information and Social Interactions in Retirement Plan Decisions: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 815-842.
    6. Joshua Angrist & Victor Lavy, 2002. "New Evidence on Classroom Computers and Pupil Learning," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 735-765, October.
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    8. Ofer Malamud & Cristian Pop-Eleches, 2011. "Home Computer Use and the Development of Human Capital," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(2), pages 987-1027.
    9. Miriam Bruhn & David McKenzie, 2009. "In Pursuit of Balance: Randomization in Practice in Development Field Experiments," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(4), pages 200-232, October.
    10. Julian Cristia & Pablo Ibarrarán & Santiago Cueto & Ana Santiago & Eugenio Severín, 2017. "Technology and Child Development: Evidence from the One Laptop per Child Program," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 295-320, July.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Deshpande, Ashwini & Desrochers, Alain & Ksoll, Christopher & Shonchoy, Abu S., 2017. "The Impact of a Computer-based Adult Literacy Program on Literacy and Numeracy: Evidence from India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 451-473.
    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. Alejandro J. Ganimian & Richard J. Murnane, 2014. "Improving Educational Outcomes in Developing Countries: Lessons from Rigorous Impact Evaluations," NBER Working Papers 20284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Bulman, George & Fairlie, Robert W, 2016. "Technology and Education: Computers, Software, and the Internet," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt0rb5x6bf, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
    5. George Bulman & Robert W. Fairlie, 2015. "Technology and Education: Computers, Software, and the Internet," CESifo Working Paper Series 5570, CESifo.
    6. 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.
    7. Bet, German & Cristia, Julián P. & Ibarrarán, Pablo, 2014. "The Effects of Shared School Technology Access on Students Digital Skills in Peru," IZA Discussion Papers 7954, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Yamada, Gustavo & Lavado, Pablo & Montenegro, Guadalupe, 2016. "The Effect of One Laptop per Child on Teachers' Pedagogical Practices and Students' Use of Time at Home," IZA Discussion Papers 10432, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Algan, Yann & Fortin, Nicole M., 2016. "Computer Gaming and Test Scores: Cross-Country Gender Differences among Teenagers," IZA Discussion Papers 10433, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Daniel Bennett & Syed Ali Asjad Naqvi & Wolf‐Peter Schmidt, 2015. "Constraints on Compliance and the Impact of Health Information in Rural Pakistan," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(9), pages 1065-1081, September.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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