Centre de recherche interuniversitaire sur la formation et la profession enseignante (CRIFPE)

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Faber, B., Sanchis-Guarner, R. & Weinhardt, F. (2015). ICT and Education: Evidence from Student Home Addresses. (Rapport no. 186). Londres : Spatial Economics Research Centre (SERC).




Governments are making it a priority to upgrade information and communication technologies (ICT) with the aim to increase available internet connection speeds. This paper presentsa new empirical strategy to estimate the causal effects of these policies, and applies it to thequestions of whether and how ICT upgrades affect educational attainment. We draw on a richcollection of microdata that allows us to link administrative test score records for the populationof English primary and secondary school students to the available ICT at their home addresses. To base estimations on exogenous variation in ICT, we notice that the boundaries of usually invisible telephone exchange station catchment areas give rise to substantial and essentiallyrandomly placed jumps in the available ICT across neighboring residences. Using thisdesign across more than 20,000 boundaries in England, we find that even very largechangesin available broadband connection speeds have a precisely estimated zero effect on educationalattainment. Guided by a simple model we then bring to bear additional microdata on studenttime and internet use to quantify the potentially opposing mechanisms underlying the zero reducedform effect. While jumps in the available ICT appear to increase student consumption ofonline content, we find no significant effects on student time spent studying online or offline, or on their learning productivity.


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Adresse civique

Université de Montréal
Faculté des Sciences de l'Éducation
90, avenue Vincent d'Indy
Pavillon Marie-Victorin – C-536
Outremont (Québec) H2V 2S9

Adresse postale

Université de Montréal
Faculté des Sciences de l'Éducation
CRIFPE – C-543
C.P. 6128, succursale Centre-ville
Montréal (Québec) H3C 3J7