Title

Dynamic Treatment Effect Analysis of TV Effects on Child Cognitive Development

Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

3-2010

Abstract

We investigate whether TV watching at ages 6-7 and 8-9 affects cognitive development measured by math and reading scores at ages 8-9, using a rich childhood longitudinal sample from NLSY79. Dynamic panel data models are estimated to handle the unobserved child-specific factor, endogeneity of TV watching, and dynamic nature of the causal relation. A special emphasis is placed on the last aspect, where TV watching affects cognitive development, which in turn affects future TV watching. When this feedback occurs, it is not straightforward to identify and estimate the TV effect. We develop a two-stage estimation method which can deal with the feedback feature; we also apply the standard econometric panel data approaches. Overall, for math score at ages 8-9, we find that watching TV during ages 6-7 and 8-9 has a negative total effect, mostly due to a large negative effect of TV watching at the younger ages 6-7. For reading score, there is evidence that watching no more than 2 hours of TV per day has a positive effect, whereas the effect is negative outside this range. In both cases, however, the effect magnitudes are economically small.

Discipline

Behavioral Economics

Research Areas

Applied Microeconomics

Publication

Journal of Applied Econometrics

Volume

25

Issue

3

First Page

392

Last Page

419

ISSN

0883-7252

Identifier

10.1002/jae.1165

Publisher

Wiley

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Additional URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jae.1165

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