Smartphone Use and Academic Performance: First Evidence from Longitudinal Data

27 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2020

See all articles by Simon Amez

Simon Amez

Ghent University

Suncica Vujic

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, School of Business and Economics

Lieven De Marez

Ghent University

Stijn Baert

Ghent University; University of Antwerp; Catholic University of Louvain (UCL); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Abstract

To study the causal impact of smartphone use on academic performance, we collected – for the first time worldwide – longitudinal data on students' smartphone use and educational performance. For three consecutive years we surveyed all students attending classes in eleven different study programmes at two Belgian universities on general smartphone use and other drivers of academic achievement. These survey data were merged with the exam scores of these students. We analysed the resulting data by means of panel data random effects estimation controlling for unobserved individual characteristics. A one standard deviation increase in overall smartphone use results in a decrease of 0.349 points (out of 20) and a decrease of 2.616 percentage points in the fraction of exams passed.

Keywords: smartphone use, academic performance, longitudinal data, causality

JEL Classification: I23, J24

Suggested Citation

Amez, Simon and Vujic, Suncica and De Marez, Lieven and Baert, Stijn, Smartphone Use and Academic Performance: First Evidence from Longitudinal Data. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12862. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3521679

Simon Amez (Contact Author)

Ghent University

Coupure Links 653
Gent, 9000
Belgium

Suncica Vujic

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, School of Business and Economics ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, 1081HV
Netherlands
+31(0)551 3555 (Fax)

Lieven De Marez

Ghent University ( email )

Coupure Links 653
Gent, 9000
Belgium

Stijn Baert

Ghent University ( email )

University of Antwerp ( email )

Prinsstraat 13
Antwerp, Antwerp 2000
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.uantwerpen.be/nl/personeel/stijn-baert/

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) ( email )

Place Montesquieu, 3
Louvain-la-Neuve, 1348
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.uclouvain.be/en-309318.html

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/index_html?key=6832

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