Working Papers

Technology and Child Development: Evidence from the One Laptop per Child Program

To download the dataset, please fill in this form:

Full Name 
Job Title 
(*Explain briefly why you require this dataset. Max. 200 characters)

AUTHOR(s): Cristia, Julian , Cueto, Santiago , Ibarraran, Pablo , Santiago, Ana , Severin, Eugenio
PUBLISHED: February 2012
RELATED TOPICS: Poverty Reduction and Labor
DOWNLOAD FILE IN: English Spanish


Although many countries are aggressively implementing the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) program, there is a lack of empirical evidence on its effects. This paper presents the impact of the first large-scale randomized evaluation of the OLPC program, using data collected after 15 months of implementation in 319 primary schools in rural Peru. The results indicate that the program increased the ratio of computers per student from 0.12 to 1.18 in treatment schools. This expansion in access translated into substantial increases in use both at school and at home. No evidence is found of effects on enrollment and test scores in Math and Language. Some positive effects are found, however, in general cognitive skills as measured by Raven’s Progressive Matrices, a verbal fluency test and a Coding test.

Related links:


Efecto Naím: A laptop is not a magic wand to improve students'' performance


NPR NewsOne Child, One Laptop ... And Mixed Results In Peru
3DNews.ruПрограмма «Каждому ребёнку — по ноутбуку» не улучшает знания
Dziennik Internautóu, by Marcin MajLaptopy OLPC nie poprawiaja wyników nauczania - badania IDB
Download.BGOLPC не подобрява резултатите на учениците
Hack EducationThe Failure of One Laptop Per Child
Heise Online, by Oliver DiedrichOne Laptop per Child: Wenig Nutzen für die Schüler?
iNews24''어린이 한 명당 노트북 한 대'' 운동, 성과는?
Mashable, by Sarah Kessler2.5 Million Laptops Later, One Laptop Per Child Doesn’t Improve Test Scores [STUDY]
PC Magazine, by Mark HachmanStudy: OLPC Fails Students as a Tool for Education
Playtech.roOne Laptop per Child – un proiect… fara efect
The EconomistEducation in Peru, Error message: A disappointing return from an investment in computing
The Verge, by Dante D''OrazioOne Laptop per Child program not improving math or language test scores, according to study
TechNews.bgПроектът OLPC не прави децата по-умни


Forbes IndiaFix That Fits: What is the Right Evaluation for Social Innovation?
IDB Education BLOGOLPC Peru: Learning from the experience (Also available in Spanish)
Educational Technology Debate BLOG, post by Amos CruzWhat Do OLPC Peru Results Mean for ICT in Education?
Educational Technology Debate BLOG, post by Carmen StrigelWhere is the Focus of OLPC in Peru and ICT4E in General?
Educational Technology Debate BLOG, post by Oscar BecerraOscar Becerra on OLPC Peru’s Long-Term Impact
Educational Technology Debate BLOG, post by Wayan VotaLet Us Discuss Results from a Randomized Control Trial of OLPC in Peru
ICTWorks BLOG, post by Wayan VotaWhat do Randomized Control Trial results from OLPC Peru mean for ICT4E?
IDB Effectiveness BLOG, post by Pablo IbarraránAnd the jury is back: One Laptop per Child is not enough
OLPC BLOG, post by Rodrigo ArboledaResponse to the Economist on OLPC in Peru
Technolgy Salon BLOG, post by Wayan VotaWhat Can We Learn From Randomized Control Trials of OLPC Peru
World Bank BLOG, post by Bruce WydickEvaluating The Best Ways to Give to the Poor
World Bank BLOG, post by Michael TrucanoEvaluating One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) in Peru
Related Research by JEL Codes:
(or click here to find research by JEL Codes)
  • Challenges in Educational Reform: An Experiment on Active Learning in Mathematics
    Working Papers
    IDB-WP-561 - March 2015

    This paper reports the results of an experiment with secondary school students designed to improve their ability to reason, argument, and communicate using mathematics. These goals are at the core of many educational reforms. A structured pedagogical intervention was created that fostered a more active role of students in the classroom. The intervention was implemented with high fidelity and wa ... (View publication)

  • Home Computers and Child Outcomes: Short-Term Impacts from a Randomized Experiment in Peru
    Working Papers
    IDB-WP-382 - December 2012

    This paper presents results from a randomized control trial in which approximately 1,000 OLPC XO laptops were provided for home use to children attending primary schools in Lima, Peru. The intervention increased access and use of home computers, with some substitution away from computer use outside the home. Beneficiaries were more likely to complete domestic chores but less likely to read books. ... (View publication)

  • Learning Better: Public Policy for Skills Development
    IDB-BK-171 - August 2017

    Despite governments’ best efforts, many people in Latin America and the Caribbean don’t have the skills they need to thrive. This book looks at what policies work, and don’t work, so that governments can help people learn better and realize their potential throughout their lifetimes. (View publication)

Hello, Welcome to the IDB!

Please join our mailing list by simply entering your email below.