NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

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

Robert W. Fairlie, Jonathan Robinson

NBER Working Paper No. 19060
Issued in May 2013
NBER Program(s):   DEV   ED

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.

You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery.

Information about Free Papers

You should expect a free download if you are a subscriber, a corporate associate of the NBER, a journalist, an employee of the U.S. federal government with a ".GOV" domain name, or a resident of nearly any developing country or transition economy.

If you usually get free papers at work/university but do not at home, you can either connect to your work VPN or proxy (if any) or elect to have a link to the paper emailed to your work email address below. The email address must be connected to a subscribing college, university, or other subscribing institution. Gmail and other free email addresses will not have access.

E-mail:

Acknowledgments

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w19060

Published: Robert W. Fairlie & Jonathan Robinson, 2013. "Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Home Computers on Academic Achievement among Schoolchildren," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 211-40, July.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Beuermann, Cristia, Cruz Aguayo, Cueto, and Malamud w18818 Home Computers and Child Outcomes: Short-Term Impacts from a Randomized Experiment in Peru
Duflo, Banerjee, Glennerster, and Kinnan w18950 The Miracle of Microfinance? Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation
Collins and Gan w18848 Does Sorting Students Improve Scores? An Analysis of Class Composition
Gordon w19049 High School Graduation in the Context of Changing Elementary and Secondary Education Policy and Income Inequality: The Last Half Century
Bloom, Liang, Roberts, and Ying w18871 Does Working from Home Work? Evidence from a Chinese Experiment
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us