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Centre of Migration Research

Zuzanna Brunarska, Artjoms Ivlevs. 2024.

Does exposure to books foster a taste for spatial mobility? Home library size in childhood and adult migration intentions


Migration Studies


Does exposure to books in childhood encourage adult migration? We contend that it does—through reading, which provides a simulative experience and arouses readers’ curiosity, as well as raising their openness to new experiences, awareness of opportunities in other places, and confidence in social situations, all of which foster migration intentions. Using data from the Life in Transition-III Survey, we find that the number of books in a childhood home is positively related to adult migration intentions. This relationship holds after controlling for a set of socio-economic characteristics, including individual and parental education. We also show that the book effect increases with the respondents’ level of education.