IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp11455.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Smartphone Use and Academic Performance: Correlation or Causal Relationship?

Author

Listed:
  • Baert, Stijn

    () (Ghent University)

  • Vujic, Suncica

    () (University of Antwerp)

  • Amez, Simon

    () (Ghent University)

  • Claeskens, Matteo

    (Ghent University)

  • Daman, Thomas

    (University of Antwerp)

  • Maeckelberghe, Arno

    (Ghent University)

  • Omey, Eddy

    () (Ghent University)

  • De Marez, Lieven

    () (Ghent University)

Abstract

After a decade of correlational research, this study is the first to measure the causal impact of (general) smartphone use on educational performance. To this end, we merge survey data on general smartphone use, exogenous predictors of this use, and other drivers of academic success with the exam scores of first-year students at two Belgian universities. The resulting data are analysed with instrumental variable estimation techniques. A one-standard-deviation increase in daily smartphone use yields a decrease in average exam scores of about one point (out of 20). When relying on ordinary least squares estimations, the magnitude of this effect is substantially underestimated.

Suggested Citation

  • Baert, Stijn & Vujic, Suncica & Amez, Simon & Claeskens, Matteo & Daman, Thomas & Maeckelberghe, Arno & Omey, Eddy & De Marez, Lieven, 2018. "Smartphone Use and Academic Performance: Correlation or Causal Relationship?," IZA Discussion Papers 11455, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11455
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp11455.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Beland, Louis-Philippe & Murphy, Richard, 2016. "Ill Communication: Technology, distraction & student performance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 61-76.
    2. Saurabh Bhargava & Vikram S. Pathania, 2013. "Driving under the (Cellular) Influence," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 92-125, August.
    3. Stijn Baert & Sunčica Vujić & Simon Amez & Matteo Claeskens & Thomas Daman & Arno Maeckelberghe & Eddy Omey & Lieven De Marez, 2020. "Smartphone Use and Academic Performance: Correlation or Causal Relationship?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 73(1), pages 22-46, February.
    4. Casey B. Mulligan, 1999. "Galton versus the Human Capital Approach to Inheritance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages 184-224, December.
    5. Jeffrey M Wooldridge, 2010. "Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262232588.
    6. Jamison, Eliot A. & Jamison, Dean T. & Hanushek, Eric A., 2007. "The effects of education quality on income growth and mortality decline," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 771-788, December.
    7. Gabriele Marconi, 2018. "Education as a Long†Term Investment: The Decisive Role of Age in the Education†Growth Relationship," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(1), pages 132-161, February.
    8. Jerik Hanushek & Dennis Kimko, 2006. "Schooling, Labor-force Quality, and the Growth of Nations," Educational Studies, Higher School of Economics, issue 1, pages 154-193.
    9. Baert, Stijn & Omey, Eddy & Verhaest, Dieter & Vermeir, Aurélie, 2015. "Mister Sandman, bring me good marks! On the relationship between sleep quality and academic achievement," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 91-98.
    10. Galletta, Sergio, 2017. "Law enforcement, municipal budgets and spillover effects: Evidence from a quasi-experiment in Italy," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 90-105.
    11. Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett & Yves Duhaldeborde & John H. Tyler, 2000. "How important are the cognitive skills of teenagers in predicting subsequent earnings?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(4), pages 547-568.
    12. Rahi Abouk & Scott Adams, 2013. "Texting Bans and Fatal Accidents on Roadways: Do They Work? Or Do Drivers Just React to Announcements of Bans?," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 179-199, 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. Stijn Baert & Sunčica Vujić & Simon Amez & Matteo Claeskens & Thomas Daman & Arno Maeckelberghe & Eddy Omey & Lieven De Marez, 2020. "Smartphone Use and Academic Performance: Correlation or Causal Relationship?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 73(1), pages 22-46, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    causality; smartphone use; academic performance;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software

    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:iza:izadps:dp11455. 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: (Holger Hinte). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    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.