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On Intergenerational Transmission of Reading Habits in Italy: Is a Good Example the Best Sermon?

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  • A. L. Mancini
  • C. Monfardini
  • S. Pasqua

Abstract

The intergenerational transmission of preference and attitudes has been less investigated in the literature than the intergenerational transmission of education and income. Using the Italian Time Use Survey (2002-2003) conducted by ISTAT, we analyse the intergenerational transmission of reading habits: are children more likely to allocate time to studying and reading when they observe their parents doing the same activity? The intergeneration transmission of attitudes towards studying and reading can be explained by both cultural and educational transmission from parents to children and by imitating behaviours. The latter channel is of particular interest, since it entails a direct influence parents may have on child’s preference formation through their role model, and it opens the scope for active policies aimed at promoting good parents’ behaviours. We follow two fundamental approaches to estimation: a “long run” model, consisting of OLS intergenerational type regressions for the reading habit, and “short run” household fixed effect models, where we aim at identifying the impact of the role model exerted by parents, exploiting different exposure of sibling to parents’ example within the same household. Our long run results show that children are more likely to read and study when they live with parents that are used to read. Mothers seem to be more important than fathers in this type of intergenerational transmission. Moreover, the short run analysis shows that there is an imitation effect: in the day of the survey children are more likely to read after they saw either the mother or the father reading.

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  • A. L. Mancini & C. Monfardini & S. Pasqua, 2011. "On Intergenerational Transmission of Reading Habits in Italy: Is a Good Example the Best Sermon?," Working Papers wp792, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  • Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:wp792
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniela Del Boca & Chiara Monfardini & Cheti Nicoletti, 2012. "Self investments of adolescents and their cognitive development," Discussion Papers 12/24, Department of Economics, University of York.
    2. Kalb, Guyonne & van Ours, Jan C., 2014. "Reading to young children: A head-start in life?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 1-24.
    3. repec:kap:reveho:v:15:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11150-015-9287-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Benjamin Volland, 2013. "On the intergenerational transmission of preferences," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 217-249, October.
    5. Benjamin Volland, 2013. "Conscientious consumers? Preferences, personality and expenditure in the UK," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2013-05, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    6. Mark Ottoni-Wilhelm & Ye Zhang & David B. Estell & Neil H. Perdue, 2017. "Raising charitable children: the effects of verbal socialization and role-modeling on children’s giving," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 30(1), pages 189-224, January.
    7. Daniela Del Boca & Chiara Monfardini & Cheti Nicoletti, 2012. "Children's and Parents' Time-Use Choices and Cognitive Development during Adolescence," Working Papers 2012-006, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    8. Benjamin Volland, 2012. "The vertical transmission of time use choices," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2012-05, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    9. Ylenia Brilli & Daniela Del Boca & Chiara Monfardini, 2013. "Child Care Arrangements: Determinants and Consequences," CHILD Working Papers Series 18, Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD) - CCA.

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    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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