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Is a good example the best sermon? Children’s imitation of parental reading

Author

Listed:
  • Anna Laura Mancini

    (Bank of Italy and CHILD-Collegio Carlo Alberto)

  • Chiara Monfardini

    () (Università di Bologna, IZA and CHILD-Collegio Carlo Alberto)

  • Silvia Pasqua

    (University of Turin and CHILD-Collegio Carlo Alberto)

Abstract

Abstract We use the last two waves of the Italian Time Use Survey to analyse whether children imitate the reading habits of their parents. As reading is crucial for continuous investment in human capital throughout a person’s life, it is important that children acquire the habit of reading. This habit may be developed through both cultural and educational transfers from parents to children, and through imitative behaviours. Imitation is of particular interest, as it suggests that parents can have a direct influence on the formation of their children’s preferences and habits, and that active policies promoting good parenting behaviours might therefore be desirable. We investigate the short-run imitative behaviour of children using a household fixed-effects model in which we identify the impact of the parents’ role model by exploiting the differences in the exposure of siblings to their parents’ example within the same household. We find robust evidence of the existence of an imitation effect: on the day of the survey, children were more likely to had read after seeing either their mother or their father reading.

Suggested Citation

  • Anna Laura Mancini & Chiara Monfardini & Silvia Pasqua, 2017. "Is a good example the best sermon? Children’s imitation of parental reading," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 965-993, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:15:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11150-015-9287-8
    DOI: 10.1007/s11150-015-9287-8
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Parental role model; Imitation; Intergenerational transmission; Household fixed effects;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models

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