Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Home Computers on Academic Achievement Among Schoolchildren

41 Pages Posted: 18 May 2013

See all articles by Robert W. Fairlie

Robert W. Fairlie

University of California, Santa Cruz - Department of Economics

Jonathan Robinson

University of California, Santa Cruz

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2013

Abstract

Computers are an important part of modern education, yet many schoolchildren lack access to a computer at home. We test whether this impedes educational achievement by conducting the largest-ever field experiment that randomly provides free home computers to students. Although computer ownership and use increased substantially, we find no effects on any educational outcomes, including grades, test scores, credits earned, attendance and disciplinary actions. Our estimates are precise enough to rule out even modestly-sized positive or negative impacts. The estimated null effect is consistent with survey evidence showing no change in homework time or other "intermediate" inputs in education.

Suggested Citation

Fairlie, Robert W. and Robinson, Jonathan, Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Home Computers on Academic Achievement Among Schoolchildren (May 2013). NBER Working Paper No. w19060. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2266806

Robert W. Fairlie (Contact Author)

University of California, Santa Cruz - Department of Economics ( email )

Department of Economics
Engineering 2 Bldg.
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
United States
831-459-3332 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://econ.ucsc.edu/~fairlie/

Jonathan Robinson

University of California, Santa Cruz ( email )

1156 High St
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
United States

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