Political Selection and the Relative Age Effect
Daniel Müller and
Lionel Page ()
No 9, QuBE Working Papers from QUT Business School
We present substantial evidence for the existence of a bias in the distribution of births of leading US politicians in favor of those who were the eldest in their cohort at school. The result is robust to both parametric and nonparametric tests and is not driven by measurement error, redshirting or a sorting eﬀect of highly educated parents. The magnitude of the eﬀect we estimate is larger than what other studies on 'relative age eﬀects' ﬁnd for broader (adult) populations, but is in general consistent with research that looks at high-competition environments. The ﬁndings are in line with a multiplier eﬀect of early human capital acquisition (Cunha and Heckman, 2007) whereby early skill accumulation lowers the cost of further investments.
Keywords: relative age eﬀect; political selection; regression discontinuity design; school entry cut-oﬀ dates; leadership (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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