Boys who grow up around books earn significantly more money as adults

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by Plazma Inferno!, Jun 9, 2016.

  1. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

    A new study shows that for men, access to books from a young age corresponds to higher earnings over a lifetime.
    Economists from Italy’s University of Padova compared data on 5,820 European men to see if longer compulsory childhood education could increase kids’ earnings over a lifetime. It does: Averaged across nine countries, boys who attended an extra year of school due to changing age requirements eventually returned an additional 9% of income.
    But the researchers were surprised to find that, among kids who benefited from an extra year of school, those who grew up with more than 10 non-school books (that is, books they weren’t forced to read) at home eventually doubled that lifetime earning advantage, to 21%. Factors like whether the boys’ fathers had white-collar jobs, and whether their homes had running water, did not seem to make a difference.
    Crucially, there was no significant difference between whether participants reported having 50, 100, or 200 books growing up. The key was whether they grew up with any number of books greater than 10.

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  3. Retribution Banned Banned

    I'd be interested in the result of performing the same study here in Australia, or more specifically in the Top End, in a few years.

    The correlation being drawn is that early access to books leads to a higher rate of pay.

    That the higher net earnings across a lifetime is correlated with white collar employment is hinted at, but not (as far as I saw) discussed in detail. The study itself does seem to acknowledge this in one or two places, an example being
    "In our data, we find that rural boys with books were more likely to move to the cities (46% versus 33%) and to have had as their first job a white collar job (33% versus 15%). "
    OK, fine.
    A further correlation is made between early access to books and a higher level of education. Also fine. More education has a tendency to lead to white collar employment.
    Given that, in recent tradition and with particular reference to Europe, white collar employment tends to pay more(?), then it becomes obvious higher rates of pay across a lifetime will be the result.

    The reason I would be interested to see the same study performed here is that white collar work is no longer necessarily the highest paying type of work, particularly at entry level or in the first couple of decades of a lifetime (in the private sector). The mining industry, fishing industry, and "tradie" industry (being a local term for trade work, which would be plumbing, electrical, various types of mechanical work, and the like) are among the highest paid employment types going, and yet do not require any particular educational levels for most aspects, the alternative to formal education being an apprenticeship served over two to four years. Traditionally, this begins at the age of 15 or thereabouts, and is paid at increasing rates over the lifetime of the apprenticeship... which on completion results in some very high earnings indeed, particularly with consideration to comparative age and experience.

    By comparison, for example, an IT worker is often someone who has done four years at a university (unpaid) and then takes entry-level employment at barely minimum wage.

    Back to referencing the study, I'm not sure how a presence of books in the home here in Darwin from a young age would produce the same results. Certainly, the highest paid types of employment here don't necessarily attract readers, in general, at a young age or otherwise.

    So to summarise, I'm ok with the presence of books in the home leading to more education and resulting white-collar types of employment.
    I'm not ok with a direct correlation between higher rates of pay and the presence of books in the home being accurate (or, to be more precise, a "significant" difference in earnings over a lifetime) because the same rules governing supply and demand apply to employment types as they do to anything else. At the very least, using Darwin as an example, the significance would be reduced.

    ... and then, of course, there's that elephant in the room, specifically the reference to "boys with books", which I'm not going to go into at this point.
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  5. river


    I see the correlation between books and income . In the end it's better to be educated by reading than not , not reading.

    The most important thing about being around books though is ; expanding your thinking .

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