Broadband Internet, Digital Temptations, and Sleep

37 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2017

See all articles by Francesco C. Billari

Francesco C. Billari

Bocconi University - Department of Policy Analysis and Public Management

Osea Giuntella

University of Oxford

Luca Stella

Bocconi University; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Abstract

There is a growing concern that the widespread use of computers, mobile phones and other digital devices before bedtime disrupts our sleep with detrimental effects on our health and cognitive performance. High-speed Internet promotes the use of electronic devices, video games and Internet addiction (e.g., online games and cyberloafing). Exposure to artificial light from tablets and PCs can alterate individuals' sleep patterns. However, there is little empirical evidence on the causal relationship between technology use near bedtime and sleep. This paper studies the causal effects of access to high-speed Internet on sleep.We first show that playing video games, using PC or smartphones, watching TV or movies are correlated with shorter sleep duration. Second, we exploit historical differences in pre-existing telephone infrastructure that affected the deployment of high-speed Internet across Germany (see Falck et al., 2014) to identify a source of plausibly exogenous variation in access to Broadband. Using this instrumental variable strategy, we find that DSL access reduces sleep duration and sleep satisfaction.

Keywords: internet, sleep duration, time use

JEL Classification: I1, J22

Suggested Citation

Billari, Francesco C. and Giuntella, Osea and Stella, Luca, Broadband Internet, Digital Temptations, and Sleep. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11050, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3045747

Francesco C. Billari (Contact Author)

Bocconi University - Department of Policy Analysis and Public Management ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy

Osea Giuntella

University of Oxford ( email )

No Address Available

Luca Stella

Bocconi University ( email )

Via Sarfatti, 25
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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

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