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Smartphone Use and Academic Performance: Correlation or Causal Relationship?

Stijn Baert (), Sunčica Vujić (), Simon Amez, Matteo Claeskens, Thomas Daman, Arno Maeckelberghe, Eddy Omey () and Lieven De Marez ()
Additional contact information
Matteo Claeskens: Ghent University
Thomas Daman: University of Antwerp
Arno Maeckelberghe: Ghent University
Lieven De Marez: Ghent University

No 11455, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: After a decade of correlational research, this study is the first to measure the causal impact of (general) smartphone use on educational performance. To this end, we merge survey data on general smartphone use, exogenous predictors of this use, and other drivers of academic success with the exam scores of first-year students at two Belgian universities. The resulting data are analysed with instrumental variable estimation techniques. A one-standard-deviation increase in daily smartphone use yields a decrease in average exam scores of about one point (out of 20). When relying on ordinary least squares estimations, the magnitude of this effect is substantially underestimated.

Keywords: causality; smartphone use; academic performance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 I23 L86 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 25 pages
Date: 2018-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed

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Related works:
Journal Article: Smartphone Use and Academic Performance: Correlation or Causal Relationship? (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: SMARTPHONE USE AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE: CORRELATION OR CAUSAL RELATIONSHIP? (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: Smartphone Use and Academic Performance: Correlation or Causal Relationship? (2019) Downloads
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