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Providing Computers Does Not Improve College Enrollment, Employment, or Earnings

February 8, 2018


In a fascinating new study by Robert W. Fairlie and Peter Riley Bahr, they examine the effects of an experiment in which some community college students received free computers and others did not by lottery. Comparing these randomly assigned treatment and control groups, the researchers found that computer skills rose among students who were given computers, but those skills did not translate into higher college enrollment, employment, or earnings for the treatment group.

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