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Books are forever: Early life conditions, education and lifetime earnings in Europe

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  • Giorgio Brunello
  • Guglielmo Weber
  • Christoph Weiss

Abstract

We estimate the effect of education on lifetime income in Europe, by distinguishing between individuals who lived in rural or urban areas during childhood and between individuals who had access to many or few books at age ten. We instrument years of education using reforms of compulsory education in nine different countries, and find that individuals in rural areas were most affected by the reforms. Among those affected, individuals with many books at home at age ten enjoyed substantially higher returns to their additional education. We argue that the long — lasting beneficial effects of having books at home are due to the cultural environment in the household and the development of cognitive skills rather than to the presence of short - term liquidity constraints.

Suggested Citation

  • Giorgio Brunello & Guglielmo Weber & Christoph Weiss, 2012. "Books are forever: Early life conditions, education and lifetime earnings in Europe," ISER Discussion Paper 0842, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  • Handle: RePEc:dpr:wpaper:0842
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Agar Brugiavini & Danilo Cavapozzi & Yao Pan, 2017. "Education gradient in well-being late in life: the case of China," Working Papers 2017:28, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
    2. Irene Mosca & Vincent O'Sullivan & Robert E Wright, 2017. "Maternal employment and child outcomes: evidence from the Irish marriage bar," Working Papers 1709, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
    3. Adam M. Lavecchia & Heidi Liu & Philip Oreopoulos, 2014. "Behavioral Economics of Education: Progress and Possibilities," NBER Working Papers 20609, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Manuel Flores & Adriaan Kalwij, 2014. "The associations between early life circumstances and later life health and employment in Europe," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 47(4), pages 1251-1282, December.
    5. Kawaguchi, Daiji, 2016. "Fewer school days, more inequality," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 35-52.
    6. Avendano, Mauricio & Berkman, Lisa F. & Brugiavini, Agar & Pasini, Giacomo, 2015. "The long-run effect of maternity leave benefits on mental health: Evidence from European countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 45-53.
    7. Ciani, Emanuele, 2016. "Retirement, pension eligibility and home production," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 106-120.
    8. Bertoni, Marco, 2015. "Hungry today, unhappy tomorrow? Childhood hunger and subjective wellbeing later in life," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 40-53.
    9. Myck, Michal & Oczkowska, Monika, 2018. "Shocked by Therapy? Unemployment in the First Years of the Socio-Economic Transition in Poland and its Long-Term Consequences," IZA Discussion Papers 11342, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Bassetti, Thomas & Rebba, Vincenzo, 2015. "Getting to the Roots of Long-Term Care Needs: A Regression Tree Analysis," MPRA Paper 66167, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. John Jerrim & Álvaro Choi, 2013. "The mathematics skills of school children: how does England compare to the high performing east Asian jurisdictions?," Working Papers 2013/12, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    12. repec:spr:series:v:8:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s13209-017-0163-z is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Pedro Albarran Pérez & Marisa Hidalgo Hidalgo & Iñigo Iturbe-Ormaetxe Kortajarene, 2017. "Schooling and adult health: Can education overcome bad early-life conditions?," Working Papers. Serie AD 2017-09, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    14. Cathles, Alison & Ritzen, Jo, 2017. "Money Counts, but So Does Timing: Public Investment and Adult Competencies," IZA Discussion Papers 10565, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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