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Reading to Young Children: A Head-Start in Life?

  • Kalb, Guyonne


    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research)

  • van Ours, Jan C.


    (Tilburg University)

This paper investigates the importance of parents reading to their young children. Using Australian data we find that parental reading to children at age 4 to 5 has positive and significant effects on reading skills and cognitive skills of these children at least up to age 10 or 11. Our findings are robust to a wide range of sensitivity analyses.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7416.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: May 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economics of Education Review, 2014, 40, 1-24
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7416
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  1. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance John & Masterov, Dimitriy V., 2005. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," IZA Discussion Papers 1675, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Canoy, M.F.M. & van Ours, J.C. & van der Ploeg, F., 2005. "The Economics of Books," Discussion Paper 2005-13, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  3. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2008. "Formulating, Identifying and Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
  4. Mancini, Anna Laura & Monfardini, Chiara & Pasqua, Silvia, 2011. "On Intergenerational Transmission of Reading Habits in Italy: Is a Good Example the Best Sermon?," IZA Discussion Papers 6038, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 1995. "The Determinants of Children's Attainments: A Review of Methods and Findings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1829-1878, December.
  6. Joseph Price, 2008. "Parent-Child Quality Time: Does Birth Order Matter?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(1).
  7. Silles, Mary A., 2010. "The implications of family size and birth order for test scores and behavioral development," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 795-803, October.
  8. Paul J. Devereux & Sandra E. Black & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2005. "The more the merrier? The effect of family size and birth order on children's education," Open Access publications 10197/310, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  9. Edwin Leuven & Barbara Sianesi, 2003. "PSMATCH2: Stata module to perform full Mahalanobis and propensity score matching, common support graphing, and covariate imbalance testing," Statistical Software Components S432001, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 19 Jan 2015.
  10. Maani, Sholeh A. & Kalb, Guyonne, 2007. "Academic performance, childhood economic resources, and the choice to leave school at age 16," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 361-374, June.
  11. James J. Heckman & Dimitriy V. Masterov, 2007. "The Productivity Argument for Investing in Young Children," NBER Working Papers 13016, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Feinstein, Leon & Symons, James, 1999. "Attainment in Secondary School," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(2), pages 300-321, April.
  13. Mario Fiorini & Michael P. Keane, 2013. "How the Allocation of Children’s Time Affects Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Development," Working Paper Series 4, Economics Discipline Group, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney.
  14. repec:mpr:mprres:5039 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Jonathan Sandy & Kevin Duncan, 2010. "Examining the achievement test score gap between urban and suburban students," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(3), pages 297-315.
  16. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2007. "The Production of Cognitive Achievement in Children: Home, School, and Racial Test Score Gaps," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 91-136.
  17. David Roodman, 2011. "Fitting fully observed recursive mixed-process models with cmp," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 11(2), pages 159-206, June.
  18. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2003. "On The Specification and Estimation of The Production Function for Cognitive Achievement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F3-F33, February.
  19. Timothy G. Conley & Christian B. Hansen & Peter E. Rossi, 2012. "Plausibly Exogenous," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 260-272, February.
  20. repec:oup:qjecon:v:120:y:2005:i:2:p:669-700 is not listed on IDEAS
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