Do Children Benefit from Internet Access? Experimental Evidence from Peru (WP-18-30)


Ofer Malamud, Santiago Cueto, Julian Cristia, and Diether W. Beuermann


This paper provides experimental evidence for the impact of home internet access on a broad range of
child outcomes in Peru. The researchers 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. They 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. They explore reasons for the absence of impacts on these key
outcomes with survey questions, time-diaries, and computer logs.


Ofer Malamud, Associate Professor of Human Development and Social Policy and IPR Fellow, Northwestern University

Santiago Cueto, Group for the Analysis of Development (GRADE) and Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru

Julian Cristia, Inter-American Development Bank

Diether W. Beuermann, Inter-American Development Bank




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