A new study published in the Economic Journal has proclaimed that children earn more money if they are surrounded by books during their formative years.
Economists Giorgio Brunello, Guglielmo Weber and Christoph Weiss of the University of Padua looked 6,000 men born in nine European countries in the mid-20th century. Subjects were categorised depending on whether they had fewer than 10 books at home, a shelf of books, a bookcase with up to 100 books, two bookcases, or more than two bookcases.
Researchers estimated the effect of education on lifetime earnings by “distinguishing between individuals who lived in rural or urban areas during childhood and between individuals with access to many or few books at home at age 10.”
Subjects with greater access to books were also found to be more likely to move to the better-earning opportunities in cities than those with few books.
“Perhaps books matter because they encourage children to read more and reading can have positive effects on school performance,” researchers said. “Alternatively, a home filled with books indicates advantageous socio-economic conditions.”