Home Computers and Child Outcomes: Short-Term Impacts from a Randomized Experiment in Peru

43 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2013 Last revised: 3 Jun 2021

See all articles by Diether W. Beuermann

Diether W. Beuermann

University of Maryland - College Park; Durham Business School; Inter-American Development Bank (IADB); Universidad de Lima - Facultad de Economia

Julian Cristia

Inter-American Development Bank

Yyannu Cruz-Aguayo

Inter-American Development Bank

Santiago Cueto

Group for the Analysis of Development (GRADE)

Ofer Malamud

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 2013

Abstract

This paper presents results from a randomized control trial in which approximately 1,000 OLPC XO laptops were provided for home use to children attending primary schools in Lima, Peru. The intervention increased access and use of home computers, with some substitution away from computer use outside the home. Beneficiaries were more likely to complete domestic chores but less likely to read books. Treatment children scored almost one standard deviation higher in a test of XO proficiency, though there were no effects on objective and self-reported skills for using a Windows-based PC and Internet. There were positive impacts on the Raven's Progressive Matrices test among children who did not have a home computer before the intervention, but no significant effects for the sample as a whole. Finally, there was little evidence for spillovers within schools, although close friends and classmates of laptop recipients did exhibit higher proficiency with the XO computer.

Suggested Citation

Beuermann, Diether Wolfgang and Cristia, Julian and Cruz Aguayo, Yyannu and Cueto, Santiago and Malamud, Ofer, Home Computers and Child Outcomes: Short-Term Impacts from a Randomized Experiment in Peru (February 2013). NBER Working Paper No. w18818, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2222505

Diether Wolfgang Beuermann (Contact Author)

University of Maryland - College Park ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.umd.edu/~beuermann

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Julian Cristia

Inter-American Development Bank ( email )

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Yyannu Cruz Aguayo

Inter-American Development Bank ( email )

Santiago Cueto

Group for the Analysis of Development (GRADE) ( email )

Av. Almirante Grau #915
Lima 4
Peru

Ofer Malamud

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy ( email )

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Chicago, IL 60637
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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