The Negative Effect of Residential Broadband Availability on Educational Attainment in the US

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2011-12

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Abstract

A student’s decision to drop out of high school has repercussions for the individual and society. Broadband availability, which has become ubiquitous in the US since the late 1990s, can dramatically affect a student’s willingness to attend school. This study attempts to understand how broadband availability affects a student’s disengagement from school, which may lead to dropping out. I use data from two sources: the American Community Survey (ACS) regarding school enrollment and educational attainment on an individual level, and Federal Communication Commission (FCC) information on broadband availability. By using an application of difference-in-difference (DID) modeling and fixed effects, I compare trends in dropout behavior between areas that received full service by 2000 and those that acquired it in later years. The introduction of broadband correlates positively with an individual’s dropout choice. However, there are threats to causal interpretation.

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Kang, Polly (2011). The Negative Effect of Residential Broadband Availability on Educational Attainment in the US. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/5088.


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