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

  • Cristia, Julián P.

    ()

    (Inter-American Development Bank)

  • Ibarrarán, Pablo

    ()

    (Inter-American Development Bank)

  • Cueto, Santiago

    ()

    (GRADE)

  • Santiago, Ana

    ()

    (Inter-American Development Bank)

  • Severín, Eugenio

    ()

    (Inter-American Development Bank)

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 Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6401.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6401
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  1. Jacob L. Vigdor & Helen F. Ladd, 2010. "Scaling the Digital Divide: Home Computer Technology and Student Achievement," NBER Working Papers 16078, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. Stephen Machin & Sandra McNally & Olmo Silva, 2006. "New Technology in Schools: Is There a Payoff?," CEE Discussion Papers 0055, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  4. 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.
  5. Lisa Barrow & Lisa Markham & Cecilia Elena Rouse, 2007. "Technology’s edge: the educational benefits of computer-aided instruction," Working Paper Series WP-07-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  6. Paul Carrillo & Mercedes Onofa & Juan Ponce, 2010. "Information Technology and Student Achievement: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Ecuador," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 37758, Inter-American Development Bank.
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