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Is a good example the best sermon? Children’s imitation of parental reading

Anna Laura Mancini (), Chiara Monfardini () and Silvia Pasqua ()

Review of Economics of the Household, 2017, vol. 15, issue 3, 965-993

Abstract: Abstract We use the last two waves of the Italian Time Use Survey to analyse whether children imitate the reading habits of their parents. As reading is crucial for continuous investment in human capital throughout a person’s life, it is important that children acquire the habit of reading. This habit may be developed through both cultural and educational transfers from parents to children, and through imitative behaviours. Imitation is of particular interest, as it suggests that parents can have a direct influence on the formation of their children’s preferences and habits, and that active policies promoting good parenting behaviours might therefore be desirable. We investigate the short-run imitative behaviour of children using a household fixed-effects model in which we identify the impact of the parents’ role model by exploiting the differences in the exposure of siblings to their parents’ example within the same household. We find robust evidence of the existence of an imitation effect: on the day of the survey, children were more likely to had read after seeing either their mother or their father reading.

Keywords: Parental role model; Imitation; Intergenerational transmission; Household fixed effects (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J13 J22 J24 C21 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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