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Gender Specific Relative Age Effects in Politics and Football

Janne Tukiainen (), Tuomas Takalo and Topi Hulkkonen

No 94, Working Papers from VATT Institute for Economic Research

Abstract: The existence of a relative age effect (RAE) is well documented, i.e., those born early in the calendar year perform better at school and sports. We exploit a change in a selection period in youth football and regression discontinuity design in political selection to parliament in Finland to provide causal evidence of the RAE on long-run outcomes: The RAE is not driven by inherent advantages of an early year birth but rather by factors that favor those that are the oldest of a cohort irrespective of the calendar year. Thus, it is not limited to sports but has persistent consequences even on the selection to the highest positions of power within a society. Strikingly, we find strong evidence that the RAE only applies to males in competitive political environments.

Keywords: gender differences; relative age effect; political selection; Local public finance and provision of public services; C21; D72; J13; Z22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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