Evaluating the Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's BTOP Program on Broadband Adoption

51 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2015

See all articles by Janice Alane Hauge

Janice Alane Hauge

University of North Texas

James E. Prieger

Pepperdine University - School of Public Policy

Date Written: April 8, 2015

Abstract

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) spent $4.7B during 2009-2013 to, int. al, increase broadband adoption in underserved communities. We characterize the BTOP grants and examine the impact of the awards on broadband adoption. Econometric specifications controlling for award endogeneity related to observed and unobserved county-level factors find that spending is apparently associated with increased broadband adoption. Further investigation, however, reveals that the impacts of spending are nonlinear and even nonmonotonic over the range of county-level BTOP spending in the data. Controlling for trends to reduce the potential for spurious correlation between spending and outcomes removes most of the significance of the results. We conclude with three lessons for policymakers derived from the uncertain outcomes of BTOP spending found in our exploration.

Keywords: ARRA; BTOP; broadband adoption; FCC; NTIA; fixed effects ordered logit; blow up and cluster method; restricted cubic splines

JEL Classification: H54, O33, L96, H42

Suggested Citation

Hauge, Janice Alane and Prieger, James E., Evaluating the Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's BTOP Program on Broadband Adoption (April 8, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2591771 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2591771

Janice Alane Hauge (Contact Author)

University of North Texas ( email )

1155 Union Circle #305340
Denton, TX 76203
United States
940-565-4544 (Phone)

James E. Prieger

Pepperdine University - School of Public Policy ( email )

24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90263
United States
3105067150 (Phone)
3105067494 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/a/pepperdine.edu/jprieger/

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