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

Alessandro NUVOLARI
(Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa)
with Brian A’HEARN (University of Oxford) and Alexia DELFINO (London School of Economics)
Rethinking Age-heaping, a Cautionary Tale From Nineteenth Century Italy

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.

Working paper available here.

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