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The Impact of a One Laptop Per Child Program on Learning: Evidence from Uruguay

17 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2014  

Gioia de Melo

Banco de México

Alina Machado

Universidad de la Republica

Alfonso Miranda

Keele University - School of Economic and Management Studies; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Abstract

We present evidence on the impact on students' math and reading scores of one of the largest deployments of an OLPC program and the only one implemented at a national scale: Plan Ceibal in Uruguay. Unlike previous work in the field, we have unique data that allow us to know the exact date of laptop delivery for every student in the sample. This gives us the ability to use a continuous treatment, where days of exposure are used as a treatment intensity measure.We use a panel data framework including fixed effects at the individual level. Given that there is some variation in the date of laptop delivery across individuals within the same school, we can identify the effect of the program net of potential heterogeneity in the rate schools gain improvements on student's achievement over time in the absence of the OLPC program across the country (i.e. we allow each school to follow a different learning growth curve over time due to unobservable time-varying heterogeneity). We also run an alternative specification where we allow for different learning growth curves over time between schools located in Montevideo and the rest of Uruguay. Our results suggest that the program had no effects on math and reading scores. The zero effect could be explained by the fact that laptops in class are mainly used to search for information on the internet.

Keywords: technology, education, impact evaluation

JEL Classification: I21, I28

Suggested Citation

de Melo, Gioia and Machado, Alina and Miranda, Alfonso, The Impact of a One Laptop Per Child Program on Learning: Evidence from Uruguay. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8489. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2505351

Gioia De Melo (Contact Author)

Banco de México ( email )

Alina Machado

Universidad de la Republica ( email )

Gonzalo Ramirez 1926
Montevideo, 11200
Uruguay

Alfonso Miranda

Keele University - School of Economic and Management Studies ( email )

United Kingdom

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.iza.org/en/webcontent/personnel/photos?key=2804

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