Computers and productivity: Evidence from laptop use in the college classroom
Richard W. Patterson, Department of Social Sciences, United States ; Robert M. Patterson, Department of Finance, United States
Economics of Education Review Volume 57, Number 1, ISSN 0272-7757 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
This paper evaluates the effect of classroom computer use on academic performance. Using a quasi-experimental design and administrative data, we find that computer use in college classrooms has a negative impact on course grades. Our study exploits institutional policies that generate plausibly random variation in laptop use within the classroom. Compared to students who are not affected by computer policies, students who are induced to use computers in class perform significantly worse and students who are influenced not to use computers perform significantly better. We find that the negative effects of computer use are concentrated among males and low-performing students and more prominent in quantitative courses.
Patterson, R.W. & Patterson, R.M. (2017). Computers and productivity: Evidence from laptop use in the college classroom. Economics of Education Review, 57(1), 66-79. Elsevier Ltd.