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ERIC Number: ED539512
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Feb
Pages: 43
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 42
Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Home Computers on Academic Achievement among Schoolchildren. National Poverty Center Working Paper Series #13-02
Fairlie, Robert W.; Robinson, Jonathan
National Poverty Center, University of Michigan
Computers are an important part of modern education, yet large segments of the population--especially low-income and minority children--lack access to a computer at home. Does this impede educational achievement? We test this hypothesis by conducting the largest-ever field experiment involving the random provision of free computers for home use to students. 1,123 schoolchildren grades 6-10 in 15 California schools participated in the experiment. Although the program significantly increased computer ownership and use, we find no effects on any educational outcomes, including grades, standardized 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 for treatment students. Appended are: (1) Computer Ownership and Participation Rates; (2) Attrition; (3) Heterogeneity by pre-treatment performance; and (4) Heterogeneity by demographic characteristics. (Contains 4 figures, 12 tables and 34 footnotes.) [Funding for the project was provided by Computers for Classrooms, Inc., the ZeroDivide Foundation, and the NET Institute.]
National Poverty Center, University of Michigan. Joan and Sanford Weill Hall Suite 5100, 735 South State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109. Tel: 734-615-5312; Fax: 734-615-8047; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Poverty Center
Identifiers - Location: California