Journal of Cultural Economics

, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 579–605 | Cite as

Unraveling the effect of extrinsic reading on reading with intrinsic motivation

  • Sara Suárez-FernándezEmail author
  • David Boto-García
Original Article


In this paper, we analyze the effect of the time spent on reading for leisure (when the motivation is intrinsic) on the time devoted to reading for job-related or educational purposes (when the motivation is extrinsic). To do so, we use the Cultural Habits and Practices Survey conducted by the Ministry of Education and Culture of Spain in 2014–2015. As the main determinants of the time spent on intrinsic reading, we consider the time devoted to extrinsic reading, sociodemographic characteristics, labor situation, participation in other leisure activities and an index of cultural capital at home. We estimate a Heckman model that allows us to control for self-selection. Results show that the time devoted to intrinsic reading mainly depends on the time spent on reading with extrinsic motivation, human capital and cultural background. Reading with extrinsic motivation increases the likelihood of intrinsic reading but reduces the time allocated to it. Therefore, our results suggest a substitution pattern between time spent reading for leisure and reading with extrinsic motivation.


Leisure Intrinsic motivation Extrinsic motivation Reading Heckman Cultural economics 

JEL Classification

C24 J22 L82 Z1 



This study did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors. All errors in fact or interpretation are ours. We would like to thank Víctor Fernández-Blanco and Juan Prieto-Rodríguez, the editor and two anonymous referees for their constructive comments

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of OviedoAsturiasSpain

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