IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/24276.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Effects of Computers and Acquired Skills on Earnings, Employment and College Enrollment: Evidence from a Field Experiment and California UI Earnings Records

Author

Listed:
  • Robert W. Fairlie
  • Peter Riley Bahr

Abstract

This paper provides the first evidence on the earnings, employment and college enrollment effects of computers and acquired skills from a randomized controlled trial providing computers to entering college students. We matched confidential administrative data from California Employment Development Department (EDD)/Unemployment Insurance (UI) system earnings records, the California Community College system, and the National Student Clearinghouse to all study participants for seven years after the random provision of computers. The experiment does not provide evidence that computer skills have short- or medium-run effects on earnings. These null effects are found along both the extensive and intensive margins of earnings (although the estimates are not precise). We also do not find evidence of positive or negative effects on college enrollment. A non-experimental analysis of CPS data reveals large, positive and statistically significant relationships between home computers, and earnings, employment and college enrollment, raising concerns about selection bias in non-experimental studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert W. Fairlie & Peter Riley Bahr, 2018. "The Effects of Computers and Acquired Skills on Earnings, Employment and College Enrollment: Evidence from a Field Experiment and California UI Earnings Records," NBER Working Papers 24276, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24276
    Note: ED
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w24276.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hull, Marie C. & Duch, Katherine, 2017. "One-To-One Technology and Student Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 10886, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Robert W. Fairlie & Rebecca A. London, 2012. "The Effects of Home Computers on Educational Outcomes: Evidence from a Field Experiment with Community College Students," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(561), pages 727-753, June.
    3. Alan B. Krueger, 1993. "How Computers Have Changed the Wage Structure: Evidence from Microdata, 1984–1989," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(1), pages 33-60.
    4. Jacob L. Vigdor & Helen F. Ladd & Erika Martinez, 2014. "Scaling The Digital Divide: Home Computer Technology And Student Achievement," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(3), pages 1103-1119, July.
    5. Hanushek, Eric A. & Schwerdt, Guido & Wiederhold, Simon & Woessmann, Ludger, 2015. "Returns to skills around the world: Evidence from PIAAC," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 103-130.
    6. Thomas Fuchs & Ludger Wossmann, 2004. "Computers and student learning: bivariate and multivariate evidence on the availability and use of computers at home and at school," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 47(3-4), pages 359-386.
    7. Ann Huff Stevens & Michal Kurlaender & Michel Grosz, 2019. "Career Technical Education and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from California Community Colleges," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 54(4), pages 986-1036.
    8. Christopher Jepsen & Kenneth Troske & Paul Coomes, 2014. "The Labor-Market Returns to Community College Degrees, Diplomas, and Certificates," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(1), pages 95-121.
    9. Schmitt, John & Wadsworth, Jonathan, 2006. "Is there an impact of household computer ownership on children's educational attainment in Britain?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 659-673, December.
    10. Wiederhold, Simon & Falck, Oliver & Heimisch, Alexandra, 2015. "Returns to ICT Skills," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112803, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    11. Robert W. Fairlie & Jonathan Robinson, 2013. "Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Home Computers on Academic Achievement among Schoolchildren," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 211-240, July.
    12. Fiorini, M., 2010. "The effect of home computer use on children's cognitive and non-cognitive skills," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 55-72, February.
    13. Blanco, Mariana & López Bóo, Florencia, 2010. "ICT Skills and Employment: A Randomized Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 5336, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. George Bulman & Robert W. Fairlie, 2015. "Technology and Education: Computers, Software, and the Internet," CESifo Working Paper Series 5570, CESifo.
    15. Diether W. Beuermann & Julian Cristia & Santiago Cueto & Ofer Malamud & Yyannu Cruz-Aguayo, 2015. "One Laptop per Child at Home: Short-Term Impacts from a Randomized Experiment in Peru," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 53-80, April.
    16. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863, Elsevier.
    17. Thomas J. Kane & Cecilia Elena Rouse, 1999. "The Community College: Educating Students at the Margin between College and Work," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(1), pages 63-84, Winter.
    18. 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.
    19. Duane E. Leigh & Andrew M. Gill, 2007. "Do Community Colleges Respond to Local Needs? Evidence from California," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number dcc, January-J.
    20. Bulman, G. & Fairlie, R.W., 2016. "Technology and Education," Handbook of the Economics of Education,, Elsevier.
    21. Andy Dickerson & Francis Green, 2004. "The growth and valuation of computing and other generic skills," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(3), pages 371-406, July.
    22. Kane, Thomas J & Rouse, Cecilia Elena, 1995. "Labor-Market Returns to Two- and Four-Year College," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 600-614, June.
    23. John E. DiNardo & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 1997. "The Returns to Computer Use Revisited: Have Pencils Changed the Wage Structure Too?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 291-303.
    24. Hilal Atasoy, 2011. "IICT Skills and Employment Opportunities," Working Papers 11-24, NET Institute, revised Nov 2011.
    25. Fairlie, Robert W., 2012. "The effects of home access to technology on computer skills: Evidence from a field experiment," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 243-253.
    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. Celeste K. Carruthers & Christopher Jepsen, 2020. "Vocational Education: An International Perspective," CESifo Working Paper Series 8718, CESifo.
    2. Yanguas, Maria Lucia, 2020. "Technology and educational choices: Evidence from a one-laptop-per-child program," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 76(C).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. George Bulman & Robert W. Fairlie, 2015. "Technology and Education: Computers, Software, and the Internet," CESifo Working Paper Series 5570, CESifo.
    2. George Bulman & Robert W. Fairlie, 2015. "Technology and Education: Computers, Software, and the Internet," CESifo Working Paper Series 5570, CESifo.
    3. Robert W. Fairlie & Samantha H. Grunberg, 2014. "Access To Technology And The Transfer Function Of Community Colleges: Evidence From A Field Experiment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(3), pages 1040-1059, July.
    4. Benjamin Faber & Rosa Sanchis-Guarner & Felix Weinhardt, 2015. "ICT and Education: Evidence from Student Home Addresses," SERC Discussion Papers 0186, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
    5. 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.
    6. Ofer Malamud, 2019. "The Effect of Home Computers and the Internet on Children’s Human Capital Development," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 17(02), pages 34-40, August.
    7. Fairlie, Robert W. & Kalil, Ariel, 2017. "The effects of computers on children's social development and school participation: Evidence from a randomized control experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 10-19.
    8. Robert W. Fairlie & Rebecca A. London, 2012. "The Effects of Home Computers on Educational Outcomes: Evidence from a Field Experiment with Community College Students," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(561), pages 727-753, June.
    9. Wiederhold, Simon & Falck, Oliver & Heimisch, Alexandra, 2015. "Returns to ICT Skills," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112803, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Robert W. Fairlie & Jonathan Robinson, 2013. "Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Home Computers on Academic Achievement among Schoolchildren," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 211-240, July.
    11. Fairlie, Robert W., 2012. "The effects of home access to technology on computer skills: Evidence from a field experiment," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 243-253.
    12. Fairlie, Robert W., 2012. "Academic achievement, technology and race: Experimental evidence," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 663-679.
    13. Karthik Muralidharan & Abhijeet Singh & Alejandro J. Ganimian, 2019. "Disrupting Education? Experimental Evidence on Technology-Aided Instruction in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(4), pages 1426-1460, April.
    14. Robert Fairlie & Jonathan Robinson, 2011. "The Effects of Home Computers on Educational Outcomes. Evidence from a Field Experiment with Schoolchildren," Working Papers 11-14, NET Institute, revised Sep 2011.
    15. Yue Ma & Robert W. Fairlie & Prashant Loyalka & Scott Rozelle, 2020. "Isolating the “Tech” from EdTech: Experimental Evidence on Computer Assisted Learning in China," NBER Working Papers 26953, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Laura Pagani & Gianluca Argentin & Marco Gui & Luca Stanca, 2015. "The Impact of Digital Skills on Educational Outcomes: Evidence from Performance Tests," Working Papers 304, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2015.
    17. Rosa Sanchis-Guarner & José Montalbán & Felix Weinhardt, 2021. "Home Broadband and Human Capital Formation," CESifo Working Paper Series 8846, CESifo.
    18. Peter Bergman, 2020. "Nudging Technology Use: Descriptive and Experimental Evidence from School Information Systems," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 15(4), pages 623-647, Fall.
    19. Nerea Gómez-Fernández & Mauro Mediavilla, 2018. "Do information and communication technologies (ICT) improve educational outcomes? Evidence for Spain in PISA 2015," Working Papers 2018/20, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    20. Schwerdt, Guido & Chingos, Matthew M., 2015. "Virtual Schooling and Student Learning: Evidence from the Florida Virtual School," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113202, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions

    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:nbr:nberwo:24276. 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: (). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    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.