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Parental Monitoring and Children's Internet Use: The Role of Information, Control, and Cues

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  • Francisco Gallego
  • Ofer Malamud
  • Cristian Pop-Eleches

Abstract

This paper explores how parental information and control can influence children’s internet use in Chile. We designed and implemented a set of randomized interventions whereby approximately 7700 parents were sent weekly SMSs messages with (i) specific information about their children’s internet use, and/or (ii) encouragement and assistance with the installation of parental control software. We separate the informational content from the cue associated with SMS messages and vary the strength of the cues by randomly assigning whether parents received messages in a predictable or unpredictable fashion. Our analysis yields three main findings. First, we find that messages providing parents with specific information affects parental behavior and reduces children’s internet use by 6-10 percent. Second, we do not find significant impacts from helping parents directly control their children’s internet access with parental control software. Third, the strength of the cue associated with receiving a message has a significant impact on internet use.

Suggested Citation

  • Francisco Gallego & Ofer Malamud & Cristian Pop-Eleches, 2017. "Parental Monitoring and Children's Internet Use: The Role of Information, Control, and Cues," NBER Working Papers 23982, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23982
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    Cited by:

    1. de Walque, Damien & Valente, Christine, 2018. "Incentivizing School Attendance in the Presence of Parent-Child Information Frictions," IZA Discussion Papers 11637, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Noam Angrist & Peter Bergman & Moitshepi Matsheng, 2020. "School’s Out: Experimental Evidence on Limiting Learning Loss Using “Low-Tech” in a Pandemic," NBER Working Papers 28205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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