The Causal Link between Relative Age Effect and Entrepreneurship: Evidence from 17 Million Users across 49 Years on Taobao
NBER Working Paper No. 25318
We use an extensive panel of 17 million individuals born between 1947 and 1995 from China’s largest online marketplace, Taobao, to study the impact of RAE on the propensity to become an entrepreneur. Using events surrounding the Cultural Revolution and the issuance of the Compulsory Education Law whereby COD policies varied, we conceptualize a natural experiment to identify the RAE effects. The youngest students are 5.4% less likely to become an entrepreneur compared to the oldest within the cohort, translating to approximate 43.7 thousand additional sellers born in September with an estimated USD 1.29 billion in additional annual sales.
Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w25318