August 2014

IZA DP No. 8415: The Effect of Access to Information and Communication Technology on Household Labor Income: Evidence from One Laptop Per Child in Uruguay

Joaquin Marandino, Phanindra V. Wunnava

published in: Economies, 2017, 5, 35; doi:10.3390/economies5030035

This paper examines the effect of the One Laptop Per Child program in Uruguay [Plan Ceibal] on household labor income. Since 2007, the Uruguayan government has delivered one laptop to every child and every teacher in public primary schools. This program has considerably increased access to information technology within households since evidence shows that parents make use of the technology. Households in the department of Florida received laptops in 2007, while those in the department of Canelones received them in 2009. Therefore, using data from Household Surveys from the National Institute of Statistics in Uruguay, a difference-in-difference model is estimated to capture the effect of the plan of giving laptops on labor income [either total or hourly income]. The results indicate that there is a statistically significant positive effect of this plan on the labor income of those households below the median income. Such findings call for a plan that is more targeted to give laptops to low-income households, where parents possess less computer skills and the program has a greater potential.