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The impact of Internet subsidies in public schools

Author: Austan Goolsbee; Jonathan Guryan; National Bureau of Economic Research.
Publisher: Cambridge, MA. : National Bureau of Economic Research, ©2002.
Series: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 9090.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Abstract: In an effort to alleviate the perceived growth of a digital divide, the U.S. government enacted a major subsidy for Internet and communications investment in schools starting in 1998. The program subsidized spending by 20-90 percent, depending on school characteristics. Using new data on school technology usage in every school in California from 1996 to 2000 as well as application data from the E-Rate  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Austan Goolsbee; Jonathan Guryan; National Bureau of Economic Research.
OCLC Number: 50655393
Notes: "August 2002."
Description: 1 online resource (28 pages) : illustrations.
Series Title: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 9090.
Responsibility: Austan Goolsbee, Jonathan Guryan.

Abstract:

Abstract: In an effort to alleviate the perceived growth of a digital divide, the U.S. government enacted a major subsidy for Internet and communications investment in schools starting in 1998. The program subsidized spending by 20-90 percent, depending on school characteristics. Using new data on school technology usage in every school in California from 1996 to 2000 as well as application data from the E-Rate program, this paper shows that the subsidy did succeed in significantly increasing Internet investment. The implied first-dollar price elasticity of demand for Internet investment is between -0.9 and -2.2 and the greatest sensitivity shows up among urban schools and schools with large black and Hispanic student populations. Rural and predominantly white and Asian schools show much less sensitivity. Overall, by the final year of the sample, there were about 66 percent more Internet classrooms than there would have been without the subsidy. Using a variety of test score results, however, it is clear that the success of the E-Rate program, at least so far, has been restricted to the increase in access. The increase in Internet connections has had no measurable impact on any measure of student achievement.

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