March 2023

IZA DP No. 15985: Do Classical Studies Open Your Mind?

We investigate whether classical studies in high school – that emphasize in Italy the study of ancient languages such as Latin and Greek - affect personality traits. Using Italian survey data, we compare individuals who did classical studies in high school with similar individuals who completed a more scientific academic curriculum. We find that having done classical studies does not affect conscientiousness and openness but increases neuroticism and self-reported unhappiness.