The study began in finding that boys who receive an extra year of school earned an additional 9% as compared to their counterparts. Then, of the boys who averaged higher incomes, those raised in households with 10 or more non-school books earned 21% more over the course of their lifetime.
Researcher Guglielmo Weber added color to the results, reminding us that correlation does not necessarily mean causation:
“Children who grew up in homes with books may have more chances to learn about life and the universe, and to have new experiences through books. Or it could be because homes with books capture families with stronger cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.”
In short, we can’t say for sure whether the men’s higher earnings were actually due to leisure reading as a child or growing up in a household that valued learning and had greater educational opportunities. But as bookworms, the idea that those childhood years holed up reading in our rooms might have been productive makes our hearts happy.
The study, conducted out of Italy’s University of Padova, was published in The Economic Journal in April and included European men from nine different countries.
What do you think of the study’s findings?