Beland’s Study Quoted in Wall Street Journal

Louis-Philippe Beland head shot

Assistant Professor Louis-Philippe Beland

August 31, 2018

BATON ROUGE – A recent Wall Street Journal article, “France Takes On Cellphone Addiction With a Ban in Schools” quotes Louis-Philippe Beland, an assistant professor in the LSU Department of Economics, and mentions his study on the impact of banning mobile phone use in schools.

The article explores a new French law that prohibits students under age 15 from using smartphones anywhere on school grounds. France’s education minister, Jean-Michel Blanquer, states that the ban is designed to remove distractions during class and encourage students to play or read during recreation periods.

The ban comes at a time when evidence is mounting about the addictive nature of technology, especially for younger users.

Beland’s study offers evidence that a ban on mobile devices can improve standardized test scores. Using data from 2001 to 2011, the study found standardized test scores for 16-year-olds at 91 U.K. schools rose when they instituted bans on mobile phones. Strict enforcement led to more significant improvement.

Beland believes students could benefit from France’s ban. “From our research, it seems very difficult for teachers to police mobile phones,” said Beland. “So that’s a rationale for being more strict.”

Wall Street Journal subscribers may view the full article online. A PDF of Beland’s study is accessible online.
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Contact: Angela McBride
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