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Boys growing up with books earn more as adults – new study finds

A study of 6,000 men born in nine European countries concluded that children with access to books could expect to earn materially more than those who grew up with few or no books.

The study, conducted by the University of Padua, focused on the period from 1920 to 1956, when school reforms changed the minimum school leaving age across Europe.

  • An additional year of education increased a man’s average lifetime earnings by 9%
  • Men brought up in households with less than a shelf of books earned only 5% more from another year of education, compared to 21% for those with access to more books.

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