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Do Former College Athletes Earn More at Work? A Nonparametric Assessment

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Author Info

  • Henderson, Daniel J.

    ()
    (University of Alabama)

  • Olbrecht, Alexandre

    ()
    (Ramapo College of New Jersey)

  • Polachek, Solomon

    ()
    (Binghamton University, New York)

Abstract

This paper investigates how students' collegiate athletic participation affects their subsequent labor market success. It uses newly developed distributional tests to establish that the wage distribution of former college athletes is significantly different from non-athletes and that athletic participation is a significant determinant of wages. Additionally, by using newly developed techniques in nonparametric regression, it shows that on average former college athletes earn a wage premium. However, the premium is not uniform, but skewed so that more than half the athletes actually earn less than non-athletes. Further, the premium is not uniform across occupations. Athletes earn more in the fields of business, military, and manual labor, but surprisingly, athletes are more likely to become high school teachers, which pays a relatively lower wage to athletes. We conclude that nonpecuniary factors play an important role in occupational choice, at least for many former collegiate athletes.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1882.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Human Resources, 2006, 41(3), 558-577
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1882

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Related research

Keywords: nonparametric; generalized Kernel estimation; wage determination; sports economics; earnings; athletics;

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References

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  1. Forrest D. Nelson, 1976. "On a General Computer Algorithm for the Analysis of Models with Limited Dependent Variables," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4, pages 493-509 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Li, Qi & Racine, Jeff, 2003. "Nonparametric estimation of distributions with categorical and continuous data," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 266-292, August.
  3. Racine, Jeff & Li, Qi, 2004. "Nonparametric estimation of regression functions with both categorical and continuous data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 119(1), pages 99-130, March.
  4. Long, James E & Caudill, Steven B, 1991. "The Impact of Participation in Intercollegiate Athletics on Income and Graduation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(3), pages 525-31, August.
  5. Willis, Robert J & Rosen, Sherwin, 1979. "Education and Self-Selection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages S7-36, October.
  6. Li, Qi & Ouyang, Desheng, 2005. "Uniform convergence rate of kernel estimation with mixed categorical and continuous data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 291-296, February.
  7. Qi Li & Jeffrey Scott Racine, 2006. "Nonparametric Econometrics: Theory and Practice," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 8355.
  8. Bradley Ewing, 1995. "High school athletics and the wages of black males," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 65-78, June.
  9. Peter Hall & Jeff Racine & Qi Li, 2004. "Cross-Validation and the Estimation of Conditional Probability Densities," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 99, pages 1015-1026, December.
  10. Qi Li & Thomas J. Kniesner, 2002. "Nonlinearity in dynamic adjustment: Semiparametric estimation of panel labor supply," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 131-148.
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Cited by:
  1. Ozkan Eren & Daniel J. Henderson, 2008. "The impact of homework on student achievement," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 11(2), pages 326-348, 07.
  2. Zhu, Rong, 2011. "Individual heterogeneity in returns to education in urban China during 1995-2002," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 113(1), pages 84-87, October.
  3. Lechner, Michael, 2009. "Long-run labour market and health effects of individual sports activities," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 839-854, July.
  4. Caruso, Raul, 2011. "Crime and sport participation: Evidence from Italian regions over the period 1997–2003," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 455-463.
  5. Barbara Kotschwar, 2014. "Women, Sports, and Development: Does It Pay to Let Girls Play?," Policy Briefs PB14-8, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  6. Steven Caudill & James Long, 2010. "Do former athletes make better managers? Evidence from a partially adaptive grouped-data regression model," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 275-290, August.
  7. Ong, Cheng Boon & De Witte, Kristof, 2013. "Ethnic segregation and heterogeneous preferences of homeowners for housing and neighbourhood characteristics. Evidence from the Netherlands," MERIT Working Papers 061, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  8. Olbrecht, Alexandre, 2009. "Do academically deficient scholarship athletes earn higher wages subsequent to graduation?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 611-619, October.

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