In France, illiteracy is spreading even among people in positions of power. According to research by the National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (Insee), 2.5 million people in France cannot read or write. It is difficult to quantify the phenomenon of illiteracy among business leaders because they tend to surround themselves with colleagues who carry out tasks, such as writing documents, for them. People with poor writing skills often have above-average speaking skills. However, sociologists believe that these situations can have psychological consequences, such as a strong sense of shame. This can result in people seeking self-improvement via evening courses. In other cases the shame can also cause suicide. Researchers explain that illiteracy derives from a voluntary refusal to learn caused by a reaction against severe parenting, rather than an inability.