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Lifting the iron curtain: school-age education and entrepreneurial intentions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Oliver Falck
  • Robert Gold
  • Stephan Heblich
Original languageEnglish
Article numberlbw026
Pages (from-to)1111-1148
Number of pages38
JournalJournal of Economic Geography
Issue number5
Early online date18 Sep 2016
DateAccepted/In press - 20 Aug 2016
DateE-pub ahead of print - 18 Sep 2016
DatePublished (current) - Sep 2017


We exploit Germany’s reunification to identify how school-age education affects entrepreneurial intentions. We look at university students in reunified Germany who were born before the Iron Curtain fell. During school age, all students in the West German control group received formal and informal education in a free-market economy, while East German students did or did not receive free-market education. Difference-in-differences estimations show that school-age education in a free-market economy increases entrepreneurial intentions. An event study supports the commontrends assumption. Results remain robust in matched samples and when we exploit within-student variation in occupational intentions to control for unobserved individual characteristics

    Research areas

  • Entrepreneurship, socialism, formal education, informal education

    Structured keywords

  • ECON Applied Economics

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    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Oxford University Press at Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 773 KB, PDF document


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