September 6, 2008
TV -- Good or Bad?
There's an interesting article in this morning's Wall Street Journal summarizing recent empirical work by economists on the effects of children's TV-atching. See here. Ignore the breathless description of new statistical techniques and focus instead on the empirical work. Because TV was introduced at different times in different states, the economic work here described takes advantage of this "natural experiment" to tease out the effects of TV-watching on child development, educational attainment, and the like. The general conclusion is that TV-watching was not the mind-numbing activity -- captured in the phrase "the boob tube" -- that many critics and parents thought. Interestingly, the article also describes work by Robert Jensen and Emily Oster showing that the spread of TV-watching in India has helped to dampen discrimination against women.
September 6, 2008 | Permalink
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