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

Oliver Falck*, Robert Gold, Stephan Heblich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
414 Downloads (Pure)


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
Original languageEnglish
Article numberlbw026
Pages (from-to)1111-1148
Number of pages38
JournalJournal of Economic Geography
Issue number5
Early online date18 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017

Structured keywords

  • ECON Applied Economics


  • Entrepreneurship
  • socialism
  • formal education
  • informal education


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