Estimating the impact of high-speed internet on teen and young adult labor force participation

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Agriculture


High-speed residential internet access was rolled out in the United States in the early 2000's. While the advent of high-speed internet brought with it a lot of positive changes, like greater access to information (Dettling 2017) or flexibility in working arrangements for working parents (Dettling 2018), it also ushered in a new era of inexpensive and high-quality leisure activities. During this same period of time, teens and young adults are observed leaving the labor force. This thesis uses a Bartik or shift share instrument and variation in rollout of high-speed residential internet access to estimate the impact on teen and young adult labor force participation decisions. The results find that both students and non-students younger than 25 are less likely to participate in the labor force, and males were more profoundly impacted than females.




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