The Effect of Early Entrepreneurship Education: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment

The aim of this study is to analyze the effectiveness of early entrepreneurship education. To this end, we conduct a randomized field experiment to evaluate a leading entrepreneurship education program that is taught worldwide in the final grade of primary school. We focus on pupils׳ development of entrepreneurship knowledge and a set of non-cognitive skills relevant for entrepreneurial activity. The results indicate that knowledge is unaffected by the program. However, the program has a robust positive effect on non-cognitive entrepreneurial skills. This is surprising since previous evaluations found zero or negative effects. Because these earlier studies all pertain to entrepreneurship education for adolescents, our result tentatively suggests that non-cognitive entrepreneurial skills are best developed at an early age. As the entrepreneurship program has various features besides its entrepreneurship content, we must leave it to future research to determine which specific element has the greatest impact on the development of non-cognitive entrepreneurial skills.

Policy implications 
Early career entrepreneurship education can be more effective than later career entrepreneurship education. The significant immediate (short term) impact on non-cognitive entrepreneurial skills for children may be encouraging for (entrepreneurship) education policy.
Reference 
Huber, L. H., Sloof, R., & van Praag, M., 2014. 'The Effect of Early Entrepreneurship Education: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment'. European Economic Review, vol. 72, pages 76-97.