The Impacts of Introducing Computers in Schools in Developing Countries: Evidence from Peru

Julian P. Cristia, Inter-American Development Bank
Alejo Czerwonko, Columbia University
Pablo Garofalo, University of Houston

In education circles a lively debate has ensued regarding the effectiveness of ICT to enhance the learning process. This paper contributes to the limited quantitative evidence regarding this issue in developing countries by analyzing the impacts of increasing ICT access in secondary schools in Peru. We exploit rich administrative censal data between 2001 and 2006 as well as institutional knowledge regarding the execution of a specific program that deployed computers in 350 schools. Results indicate null impacts of increasing ICT access on repetition, drop-out rates and initial enrollment. The large sample sizes allow ruling out even very modest effects. These findings can be explained by the inherent difficulties in successfully implementing ICT interventions due to the critical nature of several different inputs (hardware, software, connectivity, training and support).

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Presented in Poster Session 7