Diether Beuermann

Inter-American Development Bank
1300 New York Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20577

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Institutional Affiliation: Inter-American Development Bank

NBER Working Papers and Publications

December 2018What is a Good School, and Can Parents Tell? Evidence on the Multidimensionality of School Output
with C. Kirabo Jackson, Laia Navarro-Sola, Francisco Pardo: w25342
Is a school’s impact on high-stakes test scores a good measure of its overall impact on students? Do parents value school impacts on high-stakes tests, longer-run outcomes, or both? To answer the first question, we apply quasi-experimental methods to data from Trinidad and Tobago and estimate the causal impacts of individual schools on several outcomes. Schools' impacts on high-stakes tests are weakly related to impacts on low-stakes tests, dropout, crime, teen motherhood, and formal labor market participation. To answer the second question, we link estimated school impacts to parents’ ranked lists of schools and employ discrete choice models to estimate parental preferences. Parents value schools that causally improve high-stakes test scores conditional on average outcomes, proximity, and...
November 2018Do Children Benefit from Internet Access? Experimental Evidence from Peru
with Ofer Malamud, Santiago Cueto, Julian Cristia: w25312
This paper provides experimental evidence for the impact of home internet access on a broad range of child outcomes in Peru. We compare children who were randomly chosen to receive laptops with high-speed internet access to (i) those who did not receive laptops and (ii) those who only received laptops without internet. We find that providing free internet access led to improved computer and internet proficiency relative to those without laptops and improved internet proficiency compared to those with laptops only. However, there were no significant effects of internet access on math and reading achievement, cognitive skills, self-esteem, teacher perceptions, or school grades when compared to either group. We explore reasons for the absence of impacts on these key outcomes with survey quest...

Published: Ofer Malamud & Santiago Cueto & Julian Cristia & Diether W. Beuermann, 2019. "Do children benefit from internet access? Experimental evidence from Peru," Journal of Development Economics, vol 138, pages 41-56. citation courtesy of

August 2018The Short and Long-Run Effects of Attending The Schools that Parents Prefer
with C. Kirabo Jackson: w24920
Using meta-analysis we find that, on average, sought-after schools do not improve student test scores. A potential explanation for this result is that parents value schools that improve outcomes not well-measured by test scores. We explore this notion using both administrative and survey data from Barbados. Using a regression discontinuity design, preferred schools have better peers but do not improve short-run test scores. Consistent with the proposed explanation, the same students at the same schools have more post-secondary school completion and improved adult well-being (based on an index of educational attainment, occupational rank, earnings, and health). These long-run benefits are larger for females who also experience reduced teen motherhood. Mechanisms are explored.
February 2013Home Computers and Child Outcomes: Short-Term Impacts from a Randomized Experiment in Peru
with Julian P. Cristia, Yyannu Cruz-Aguayo, Santiago Cueto, Ofer Malamud: w18818
This paper presents results from a randomized control trial in which approximately 1,000 OLPC XO laptops were provided for home use to children attending primary schools in Lima, Peru. The intervention increased access and use of home computers, with some substitution away from computer use outside the home. Beneficiaries were more likely to complete domestic chores but less likely to read books. Treatment children scored almost one standard deviation higher in a test of XO proficiency, though there were no effects on objective and self-reported skills for using a Windows-based PC and Internet. There were positive impacts on the Raven's Progressive Matrices test among children who did not have a home computer before the intervention, but no significant effects for the sample as a whole. Fi...
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