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Does Limiting Internet Use Among Adolescents Affect their Offline Social relationships?

Yunrong Li and Ricardo Mora Villarrubia ()

UC3M Working papers. Economics from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía

Abstract: We use longitudinal individual data from a nationally representative sample of Chinese children aged 10 to 15 to investigate whether a partial ban on internet use affects offline social interactions among adolescents. We present both IV and mixed logit estimates and control for spillover effects and unobservable heterogeneity. Although online and offline relationships are strongly positively correlated, the existence of unobservable common tastes for social interactions at household level explains an important part of this correlation. We also find that (i) most children do reduce their offline social relationships when facing limits to their use of social networking sites; (ii) there are spillover effects in the sense that these negative effects increase with the size of the online local network; (iii) the negative effects are sizable and statistically significant for older children (aged 14 and 15); and (iv), for these older children, they occur even after discounting the network effect. To sum up, we find large negative effects on offline social relationships for older children even if the limits are imposed to all children simultaneously.

Keywords: complementarity; unobservable; common; tastes; Online; social; relations (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J13 J14 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dcm, nep-pay, nep-soc and nep-ure
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