Digital television: impact on cognitive development, educational inequality and habits

Publication type

Research Paper


Adrian Nieto

Publication date

Series Number



This article assesses the impact of digital television on cognitive development and educational inequality, and studies whether it depends on the educational value of the alternative activities that digital television crowds out. I use heterogeneity in the timing of the television digital switchover in the different postcode areas in England to test for the previous. I find that the digital switchover increased average grades of children by 0.028 standard deviations, contributing to the human capital formation, and that this effect was larger in schools at the bottom of the scores distribution, reducing educational inequality. I also find that the digital switchover decreased the probability of children taking part in harmful activities, and their frequency.


Information And Communication Technologies, Area Effects, Time Use, Geography, Science And Technology, Young People, Education and Child Development