The Returns to Public Library Investment
Gregory Gilpin (),
Ezra Karger and
Peter Nencka ()
Additional contact information
Gregory Gilpin: https://www.montana.edu/econ/directory/1524118/gregory-gilpin
Peter Nencka: http://miamioh.edu/fsb/directory/?up=/directory/nenckap
No WP-2021-06, Working Paper Series from Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Local governments spend over 12 billion dollars annually funding the operation of 17,000 public libraries in the United States, yet we know little about their effects. We use data describing the near-universe of public libraries to show that public library investment increases children’s attendance at library events by 18%, children’s checkouts of items by 21%, and library visits by 21%. Increases in library use translate into improved test scores in nearby school districts: a $1,000 or greater per-student capital investment in local public libraries increases reading test scores by 0.02 standard deviations and has no effects on math test scores.
Keywords: public libraries; capital spending; test scores (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H41 H75 I21 I28 R0 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021-04-12, Revised 2021-07-20
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu and nep-ure
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
https://www.chicagofed.org/~/media/publications/wo ... 21/wp2021-06-pdf.pdf full text (application/pdf)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:fip:fedhwp:92066
Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in Working Paper Series from Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Lauren Wiese ().