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Are Big-Time Sports a Threat to Student Achievement?

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  • Jason M. Lindo
  • Isaac D. Swensen
  • Glen R. Waddell

Abstract

We consider the relationship between collegiate-football success and non-athlete student performance. We find that the team's success significantly reduces male grades relative to female grades. This phenomenon is only present in fall quarters, which coincides with the football season. Using survey data, we find that males are more likely than females to increase alcohol consumption, decrease studying, and increase partying in response to the success of the team. Yet, females also report that their behavior is affected by athletic success, suggesting that their performance is likely impaired but that this effect is masked by the practice of grade curving.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17677.

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Date of creation: Dec 2011
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Publication status: published as Jason M. Lindo & Isaac D. Swensen & Glen R. Waddell, 2012. "Are Big-Time Sports a Threat to Student Achievement?," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 254-74, October.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17677

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References

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  1. Lindo, Jason M. & Swensen, Isaac D. & Waddell, Glen R., 2013. "Alcohol and student performance: Estimating the effect of legal access," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 22-32.
  2. Dynarski, Susan, 2005. "Building the Stock of College-Educated Labor," Working Paper Series rwp05-050, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  3. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz & Ilyana Kuziemko, 2006. "The Homecoming of American College Women: The Reversal of the College Gender Gap," NBER Working Papers 12139, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. David Card & Gordon B. Dahl, 2011. "Family Violence and Football: The Effect of Unexpected Emotional Cues on Violent Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 103-143.
  5. Carrell, Scott E. & Hoekstra, Mark & West, James E., 2011. "Does drinking impair college performance? Evidence from a regression discontinuity approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 54-62.
  6. Stinebrickner, Ralph & Stinebrickner, T.R.Todd R., 2004. "Time-use and college outcomes," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 243-269.
  7. Foster, Gigi, 2006. "It's not your peers, and it's not your friends: Some progress toward understanding the educational peer effect mechanism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1455-1475, September.
  8. Scott E. Carrell & Marianne E. Page & James E. West, 2009. "Sex and Science: How Professor Gender Perpetuates the Gender Gap," NBER Working Papers 14959, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Clotfelter,Charles T., 2011. "Big-Time Sports in American Universities," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107004344, October.
  10. Jason M. Lindo & Nicholas J. Sanders & Philip Oreopoulos, 2010. "Ability, Gender, and Performance Standards: Evidence from Academic Probation," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 95-117, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Lindo, Jason M. & Swensen, Isaac D. & Waddell, Glen R., 2013. "Alcohol and student performance: Estimating the effect of legal access," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 22-32.
  2. Doerrenberg, Philipp & Siegloch, Sebastian, 2014. "Is Soccer Good for You? The Motivational Impact of Big Sporting Events on the Unemployed," IZA Discussion Papers 7890, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Rhodes, M. Taylor, 2013. "Pigskin, Tailgating and Pollution: Estimating the Environmental Impacts of Sporting Events," Working Papers 13-19, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics.

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