PhD candidate in Economics at the University of Southern California.
Primary fields of interest: Development and International Economics.
Department of Economics
University of Southern California
3620 South Vermont Avenue
Kaprielian Hall 300
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0253
Tel: (213) 256-6592 USA
I will be available for interviews at the AEA/ASSA meeting in Philadelphia Jan 2014.
JOB MARKET PAPER: The Formation of Technologically Skilled Human Capital in School: Evaluation of the One Laptop per Child Program in Costa Rica.
Abstract: The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative is one of the world’s most popular programs aiming to reduce the information and communication technologies digital divide. Due to the program’s recent introduction, there is little empirical evidence on its overall impact on the technological proficiency of the treated students. Costa Rica introduced its first OLPC program in February 2012. In collaboration with the NGO implementing the program, we collected baseline and post-intervention information from the 15 primary schools that were treated and from 19 primary schools serving as controls. From these two sets of schools, I was able to construct a database of approximately 6500 observations and 71 variables. Using a difference in difference design, this paper estimates the effects of the program on 4 outcomes: computer usage, time allocation, aspirations and test scores. This paper finds that the program leads to an increase in computer use of about 5 hours per week for the treated students. Moreover, I provide evidence that the treated students use the computer for browsing the internet, doing homework, reading and playing games. There is also evidence that the program leads to a decline in the time that students spend on homework and outdoor activities. No evidence is found of the program increasing computer usage by other family members. My results confirm the importance of computer access in low-income communities in order to promote a more technologically skilled labor force.