Tuesday, 12 June 2012

The Effects of Home Computers on Educational Outcomes: …

Evidence from a Field Experiment with Community College Students

 an article by Robert W. Fairlie (University of California) and Rebecca A. London (Stanford University) published in The Economic Journal Volume 122 Issue 561 (June 2012)


There is no clear theoretical prediction regarding whether home computers are an important input in the educational production function. To investigate the hypothesis, we conduct a field experiment involving the random provision of free computers to low-income community college students for home use.

Although estimates for a few measures are imprecise and cannot rule out zero effects, we find some evidence that the treatment group achieved better educational outcomes than the control group. The estimated effects, however, are not large and are smaller than non-experimental estimates.

There is also some evidence that benefits from home computers increase with distance to campus.

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