London School of Economics Centre for the Economics of Education LSE
Centre for the Economics of Education  (CEE)

Abstract for:

Ill Communication: Technology, Distraction & Student Performance

Louis-Philippe  Beland,  Richard  Murphy,  May 2015
Paper No' CEPDP1350: | Full paper (pdf)
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Keywords: Mobile phones, technology, student performance, productivity

JEL Classification: I21; I28; O33; J24

Is hard copy/paper copy available? YES - Paper Copy Still In Print.
This Paper is published under the following series: CEP Discussion Papers
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Abstract:

This paper investigates the impact of schools banning mobile phones on student test scores. By surveying schools in four English cities regarding their mobile phone policies and combining it with administrative data, we find that student performance in high stakes exams significantly increases post ban. We use a difference in differences (DID) strategy, exploiting variations in schools’ autonomous decisions to ban these devices, conditioning on a range of student characteristics and prior achievement. Our results indicate that these increases in performance are driven by the lowest-achieving students. This suggests that restricting mobile phone use can be a low-cost policy to reduce educational inequalities.