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Improvements in numeracy on a micro level: A field study in the Philippines

Lindell, Karin LU (2013) NEKH01 20131
Department of Economics
Abstract
This project investigates if access to a solar powered calculator improves numeracy and who benefits the most from the use of a calculator. A randomized field study was carried out in two different high schools in Palawan, a province in the Philippines. All participating students took two identical mathematics tests based on mental arithmetic, the first at the initial stage and the second seven weeks later at the end of the project. Difference-in-differences estimation was used to find the difference between the change in test scores over time for control and treatment groups.

In one of the schools the calculator did have a significant positive effect on test scores among students in the treatment group. The difference-in-differences... (More)
This project investigates if access to a solar powered calculator improves numeracy and who benefits the most from the use of a calculator. A randomized field study was carried out in two different high schools in Palawan, a province in the Philippines. All participating students took two identical mathematics tests based on mental arithmetic, the first at the initial stage and the second seven weeks later at the end of the project. Difference-in-differences estimation was used to find the difference between the change in test scores over time for control and treatment groups.

In one of the schools the calculator did have a significant positive effect on test scores among students in the treatment group. The difference-in-differences estimate indicates that the treatment group increased its test score by approximately one point more than the control group over the project’s time period. The results also suggest that the improvements in mental arithmetic were highest in calculation problems based on division. Students living with neither parent and with access to fewer schoolbooks tend to have lower test scores at baseline. The change in test scores is reduced among students who have a higher number of siblings or high absenteeism. To increase numeracy overall focus has to be directed at low performers to improve basic knowledge in mathematics, as well as high performers who benefit the most from a calculator. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Lindell, Karin LU
supervisor
organization
course
NEKH01 20131
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
Human capital, Numeracy, Calculators, the Philippines, Difference-in-differences estimation
language
English
id
3809151
date added to LUP
2013-06-20 10:26:47
date last changed
2013-06-20 10:26:47
@misc{3809151,
  abstract     = {This project investigates if access to a solar powered calculator improves numeracy and who benefits the most from the use of a calculator. A randomized field study was carried out in two different high schools in Palawan, a province in the Philippines. All participating students took two identical mathematics tests based on mental arithmetic, the first at the initial stage and the second seven weeks later at the end of the project. Difference-in-differences estimation was used to find the difference between the change in test scores over time for control and treatment groups. 

In one of the schools the calculator did have a significant positive effect on test scores among students in the treatment group. The difference-in-differences estimate indicates that the treatment group increased its test score by approximately one point more than the control group over the project’s time period. The results also suggest that the improvements in mental arithmetic were highest in calculation problems based on division. Students living with neither parent and with access to fewer schoolbooks tend to have lower test scores at baseline. The change in test scores is reduced among students who have a higher number of siblings or high absenteeism. To increase numeracy overall focus has to be directed at low performers to improve basic knowledge in mathematics, as well as high performers who benefit the most from a calculator.},
  author       = {Lindell, Karin},
  keyword      = {Human capital,Numeracy,Calculators,the Philippines,Difference-in-differences estimation},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Improvements in numeracy on a micro level: A field study in the Philippines},
  year         = {2013},
}