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Early exposure makes the entrepreneur: how economics education in school influences entrepreneurship

  • Many countries that seek to boost their economy share the goal of promoting entrepreneurship. Whereas there is ample research on the predictors of entrepreneurship during adulthood, we know little about how pre-adulthood experience influences entrepreneurship later in life. Using a natural experiment, this paper examines whether introducing economics classes in school enhances entrepreneurial behavior in adulthood. Our difference-in-differences approach exploits curricula reforms across German states that introduced compulsory economics education classes in secondary schools. Using information on school and labor market careers for more than 10,000 individuals from 1984 to 2019, we find that the reform increases students’ entrepreneurial activities by three percentage points. Examining gender differences, we find that economics classes equally benefit female and male students. Our results advance our understanding of how pre-adulthood experiences shape individuals’ entrepreneurial behavior.

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Author of HS ReutlingenZierow, Larissa
Erschienen in:Academy of Management proceedings, 4-10 August 2022, Seattle/Virtual
Publisher:Academy of Management
Place of publication:Briar Cliff Manor NY
Document Type:Conference Proceeding
Year of Publication:2022
Tag:economics education; entrepreneurship; school reforms; self-employment
Page Number:1
First Page:132
DDC classes:650 Management
Open Access?:Nein