Patrizia Battilani Luca Bonacini Giuseppe Pignataro Antonello E. Scorcu

Propensity to the reading, human capital and inactivity rates in Italian regions, 1995-2020

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This essay analyses the linkages between the inactivity rates and the reading propensity in the Italian regions, over the period 1995-2020. We develop a sectional and temporal analysis. As these two approaches are alternative but complementary to each other, we are able to characterize different facets of this relationship. On average, areas with a low propensity to join the labor market have lower reading propensities. However, this relation is not uniform in all the regions: in the northern regions, usually marked by a lower inactivity rate and a higher reading propensity, emerges a positive relationship in the 25 years under scrutiny. The relationship is different for the southern regions. Within this complex geographical picture, a negative overall trend emerges for both the inactivity and the reading propensity rates. Because in Italy the female inactivity rate is quite high in comparison with other countries, particular attention is also given to the relationship between the reading propensity and the inactivity rates in this segment. Whereas the previous empirical evidence cannot be interpreted in terms of causal relationships, the results offer suggestive support for the inclusion of reading capabilities measures in the broad concept of human capital.


  • inactivity
  • reading
  • Italian regions
  • yearly rates
  • dates course in the years
  • women’
  • s labour market
  • human capital


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