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Do Information Technologies Improve Teenagers’ Sexual Education? Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Colombia

Listed author(s):
  • Alberto Chong
  • Marco Gonzalez-Navarro
  • Dean Karlan
  • Martin Valdivia

Across public junior high schools in 21 Colombian cities, we conducted a randomized evaluation of a mandatory six-month internet-based sexual education course. Six months after finishing the course, we find a 0.4 standard deviation improvement in knowledge, a 0.2 standard deviation improvement in attitudes, and a 55% increase in the likelihood of redeeming vouchers for condoms as a result of taking the course. We find no evidence of spillovers to control classrooms within treatment schools, and we find treatment effects are enhanced when a larger share of a student’s friends also takes the course. The low cost of the online course along with the effectiveness we document suggests this technology is a viable alternative for improving sexual education in middle income countries.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w18776.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18776.

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Date of creation: Feb 2013
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18776
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  1. Karlan, Dean S. & Zinman, Jonathan, 2012. "List randomization for sensitive behavior: An application for measuring use of loan proceeds," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(1), pages 71-75.
  2. Dean Karlan & Martin Valdivia, 2011. "Teaching Entrepreneurship: Impact of Business Training on Microfinance Clients and Institutions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 510-527, May.
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  8. Melissa S. Kearney & Phillip B. Levine, 2012. "Why Is the Teen Birth Rate in the United States So High and Why Does It Matter?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 141-163, Spring.
  9. Ambrus, Attila & Field, Erica, 2008. "Early Marriage, Age of Menarche, and Female Schooling Attainment in Bangladesh," Scholarly Articles 3200264, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Pascaline Dupas, 2011. "Do Teenagers Respond to HIV Risk Information? Evidence from a Field Experiment in Kenya," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 1-34, January.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Erica Field & Attila Ambrus, 2008. "Early Marriage, Age of Menarche, and Female Schooling Attainment in Bangladesh," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(5), pages 881-930, October.
  14. Downs, Julie S. & Murray, Pamela J. & Bruine de Bruin, Wändi & Penrose, Joyce & Palmgren, Claire & Fischhoff, Baruch, 2004. "Interactive video behavioral intervention to reduce adolescent females' STD risk: a randomized controlled trial," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 59(8), pages 1561-1572, October.
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