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An Economic Analysis of Participation and Time Spent in Physical Activity


  • Humphreys Brad R

    () (University of Alberta)

  • Ruseski Jane E

    () (University of Alberta)


This paper develops and estimates an economic model of physical activity that distinguishes between the participation and duration decisions (extensive and intensive margins). Results from IV estimators indicate that economic factors like income and opportunity cost of time are important determinants of physical activity and affect the participation and time spent decisions differently. Individuals with higher income are more likely to participate but, conditional on participation, spend less time engaged in physical activity. Individual characteristics like gender, race, marital status and having children also play an important role in the participation and duration decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Humphreys Brad R & Ruseski Jane E, 2011. "An Economic Analysis of Participation and Time Spent in Physical Activity," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-38, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:11:y:2011:i:1:n:47

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Moffitt, Robert, 1993. "Identification and estimation of dynamic models with a time series of repeated cross-sections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1-2), pages 99-123, September.
    2. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2007. "Measuring Trends in Leisure: The Allocation of Time Over Five Decades," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 969-1006.
    3. Vasilios Kosteas, 2012. "The Effect of Exercise on Earnings: Evidence from the NLSY," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 225-250, June.
    4. Paul Downward, 2007. "Exploring the Economic Choice to Participate in Sport: Results from the 2002 General Household Survey," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(5), pages 633-653.
    5. Nazmi Sari, 2009. "Physical inactivity and its impact on healthcare utilization," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(8), pages 885-901.
    6. Cragg, John G, 1971. "Some Statistical Models for Limited Dependent Variables with Application to the Demand for Durable Goods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(5), pages 829-844, September.
    7. Chou, Shin-Yi & Grossman, Michael & Saffer, Henry, 2004. "An economic analysis of adult obesity: results from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 565-587, May.
    8. Eide, Eric R. & Ronan, Nick, 2001. "Is participation in high school athletics an investment or a consumption good?: Evidence from high school and beyond," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 431-442, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Muñiz, Cristina & Rodríguez, Plácido & Suárez, María J., 2014. "Sports and cultural habits by gender: An application using count data models," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 288-297.
    2. Humphreys, Brad & Ruseski, Jane & Zhou, Li, 2015. "Physical Activity, Present Bias, and Habit Formation: Theory and Evidence from Longitudinal Data," Working Papers 2015-6, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
    3. Longo, Alberto & Hutchinson, W. George & Hunter, Ruth F. & Tully, Mark A. & Kee, Frank, 2015. "Demand response to improved walking infrastructure: A study into the economics of walking and health behaviour change," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 107-116.
    4. Huang, Haifang & Humphreys, Brad R., 2012. "Sports participation and happiness: Evidence from US microdata," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 776-793.
    5. repec:kap:jculte:v:41:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10824-016-9275-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Charlotte Cabane & Andrew E. Clark, 2015. "Childhood Sporting Activities andAdult Labour-Market Outcome," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 119-120, pages 123-148.
    7. Paul Downward & Peter Dawson, 2016. "Is it Pleasure or Health from Leisure that We Benefit from Most? An Analysis of Well-Being Alternatives and Implications for Policy," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 126(1), pages 443-465, March.
    8. Sisira Sarma & Rose Anne Devlin & Jason Gilliland & Karen Campbell & Gregory Zaric, 2013. "The Effect of Leisure-time Physical Activity on Obesity, Diabetes, High BP and Heart Disease among Canadians: Evidence from 2000/01 to 2005/06," Working Papers 130001, Canadian Centre for Health Economics.
    9. Cabane Charlotte & Lechner Michael, 2015. "Physical Activity of Adults: A Survey of Correlates, Determinants, and Effects," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 235(4-5), pages 376-402, August.
    10. Wolff, Hendrik & Makino, Momoe, 2012. "Extending Becker's Time Allocation Theory to Model Continuous Time Blocks: Evidence from Daylight Saving Time," IZA Discussion Papers 6787, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. repec:eee:spomar:v:20:y:2017:i:5:p:455-467 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Humphreys, Brad & Maresova, Katerina & Ruseski, Jane, 2012. "Institutional Factors, Sport Policy, and Individual Sport Participation: An International Comparison," Working Papers 2012-1, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
    13. Vasilios Kosteas, 2015. "Physical activity and time preference," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 361-386, December.
    14. Joshua C. Hall & Brad R. Humphreys & Jane E. Ruseski, 2015. "Economic Freedom, Race, and Health Disparities: Evidence from US States," Working Papers 15-43, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
    15. Charlotte Cabane & Andrew E. Clark, 2015. "Childhood Sporting Activities andAdult Labour-Market Outcome," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 119-120, pages 123-148.
    16. Sarma, Sisira & Zaric, Gregory S. & Campbell, M. Karen & Gilliland, Jason, 2014. "The effect of physical activity on adult obesity: Evidence from the Canadian NPHS panel," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 14(C), pages 1-21.
    17. Sari, Nazmi & Lechner, Michael, 2015. "Long-run health effects of sports and exercise in Canada," Economics Working Paper Series 1520, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    18. Jane E. Ruseski & Katerina Maresova, 2014. "Economic Freedom, Sport Policy, And Individual Participation In Physical Activity: An International Comparison," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(1), pages 42-55, January.
    19. Venn, Danielle & Strazdins, Lyndall, 2017. "Your money or your time? How both types of scarcity matter to physical activity and healthy eating," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 172(C), pages 98-106.
    20. Joshua C. Hall & Brad R. Humphreys & Jane E. Ruseski, 2015. "Economic Freedom and Participation in Physical Activity," Working Papers 15-17, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
    21. Norwood, Patricia & Eberth, Barbara & Farrar, Shelley & Anable, Jillian & Ludbrook, Anne, 2014. "Active travel intervention and physical activity behaviour: An evaluation," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 50-58.
    22. Mutter, Felix & Pawlowski, Tim, 2014. "Role models in sports – Can success in professional sports increase the demand for amateur sport participation?," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 324-336.

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