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The contribution of public libraries to countries' economic productivity: a path analysis

The contribution of public libraries to countries' economic productivity: a path analysis This empirical investigation examines the causal relationship between public libraries, literacy level, and economic productivity measured by gross domestic product per capita using path analysis. It is hypothesized that public libraries along with school libraries contribute to countries' literacy levels which in turn contribute to economic productivity. Cross‐country data were gathered from a number of sources including the Statistical Abstract of the World and Unesco's Statistical Yearbook . The results show that the path coefficients of public libraries and literacy levels are statistically significant at the 0.05 and 0.0001 levels respectively, strongly confirming the hypothesis. This study demonstrates that public libraries contribute to economic productivity through their various literacy programs and argues that cutting financial support for public libraries as practiced by many municipal governments is a short‐sighted policy and will adversely affect economic productivity of countries in the long run. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Library Review Emerald Publishing

The contribution of public libraries to countries' economic productivity: a path analysis

Library Review , Volume 53 (9): 7 – Dec 1, 2004

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0024-2535
DOI
10.1108/00242530410565210
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This empirical investigation examines the causal relationship between public libraries, literacy level, and economic productivity measured by gross domestic product per capita using path analysis. It is hypothesized that public libraries along with school libraries contribute to countries' literacy levels which in turn contribute to economic productivity. Cross‐country data were gathered from a number of sources including the Statistical Abstract of the World and Unesco's Statistical Yearbook . The results show that the path coefficients of public libraries and literacy levels are statistically significant at the 0.05 and 0.0001 levels respectively, strongly confirming the hypothesis. This study demonstrates that public libraries contribute to economic productivity through their various literacy programs and argues that cutting financial support for public libraries as practiced by many municipal governments is a short‐sighted policy and will adversely affect economic productivity of countries in the long run.

Journal

Library ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Dec 1, 2004

Keywords: School libraries; Public libraries; Information society; Reading

References