Monday, April 3d 2017 – 13:00 – 14:00
Maison des Sciences Économiques, Room 19
Maison des Sciences Économiques, 106-112 bd de l’Hôpital, 75013 Paris, Métro 5 Campo Formio, bus 57, 67, 27, 83 ou 47
with Brian A’HEARN (University of Oxford) and Alexia DELFINO (London School of Economics)
Abstract – A swelling stream of literature employs age-heaping as an indicator of human capital, more specifically of numeracy. We re-examine this connection in light of evidence drawn from nineteenth century Italy: census data, death records, and direct, qualitative evidence on age-awareness and numeracy. Though it can stand in as an acceptable proxy for literacy, our findings suggest that age-heaping is most plausibly interpreted as a broad indicator of cultural and institutional modernisation rather than a measure of cognitive skills.