Essays on the impact of information communication technologies on human capital

Mao, Likun and Green, Colin and O'Sullivan, Vincent (2019) Essays on the impact of information communication technologies on human capital. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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This thesis consists of three essays on the impact of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) on cognitive, noncognitive and educational outcomes. Based on large social survey datasets, I find evidence of positive impacts of ICT use on subsequent developmental outcomes. Chapter Two draws on the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE) data where I estimate the causal effect of personal computer usage by teenagers on their university attendance. A variety of matching methods aimed at minimising the differences of covariates between treated and control teenagers are applied, and show that access to personal laptop or computer increases the likelihood of university attendance, but these effects are heterogeneous. Chapter Three uses the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) to examine the impact of electronic games on cognitive and noncognitive skills in early childhood between the age of three and five. In the sample, around one-third of children did not play electronic games before the age of five. Using mothers’ computer usage at home and new household internet access as instrumental variables, I find no evidence of a detrimental impact of playing electronic games but some evidence of cognitive benefits. Chapter Four exploits the data from Survey data of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), to examine the effect of internet use on the cognitive decline of retirees. The casual impact is identified by instrumenting current internet use with the past career and occupational information of the retirees who, in these surveys, started their working life before the large-scale computerisation at the workplace after the 1980s. The results demonstrate that ICT usage slows the rate of cognitive decline among retirees, and the decline is not primarily driven by advantaged groups.

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19 Nov 2019 11:40
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16 Mar 2024 00:04