Giorgio Brunello, Guglielmo Weber, Christoph Weiss, 15 June 2016

Early life conditions can have long-lasting effects on individual development and labour market success. Using a sequence of reforms that raised the minimum school-leaving age in Europe, this column investigates how access to books at home influences educational and labour market outcomes. The returns to an additional year of education for individuals brought up in households with few books are much lower than for the luckier ones who had more than a shelf of books at home.

Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, Nicole Schneeweis, Margherita Fort, 05 January 2012

Demographic research typically reports negative correlations between schooling and fertility. But this column argues more education can lead to an increase in the number of children per woman. It uses data for more than 6000 individuals from eight European countries where compulsory schooling reforms took place between 1942 and 1967 and finds that one additional year of compulsory schooling increases the number of children by approximately 0.2 and the probability to remain childless by around ten percentage points.

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