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Sports participation and academic performance: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health

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  • Rees, Daniel I.
  • Sabia, Joseph J.

Abstract

It has been argued that high school sports participation increases motivation and teaches teamwork and self-discipline. While several studies have shown that students who participate in athletic activities perform better in school than those who do not, it is not clear whether this association is a result of positive academic spillovers, or due to the influence of unobservables. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and a variety of statistical techniques designed to distinguish between these hypotheses, we examine the effect of sports participation on several measures of academic performance. Our results provide only limited evidence that sports participation leads to enhanced academic performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Rees, Daniel I. & Sabia, Joseph J., 2010. "Sports participation and academic performance: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 751-759, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:29:y:2010:i:5:p:751-759
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    Cited by:

    1. Cabane, Charlotte & Hille, Adrian & Lechner, Michael, 2015. "Mozart or Pelé? The effects of teenagers’ participation in music and sports," CEPR Discussion Papers 10556, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Martín A Rossi & Christian A Ruzzier, 2018. "Career Choices and the Evolution of the College Gender Gap," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 32(2), pages 307-333.
    3. Harold E. Cuffe & Glen R. Waddell & Wesley Bignell, 2017. "Can School Sports Reduce Racial Gaps In Truancy And Achievement?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(4), pages 1966-1985, October.
    4. Torberg Falch & Ole Henning Nyhus & Bjarne Strøm, 2014. "Performance of Young Adults: The Importance of Different Skills," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 60(2), pages 435-462.
    5. Felfe, Christina & Lechner, Michael & Steinmayr, Andreas, 2011. "Sports and Child Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 8523, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Bart H. H. Golsteyn & Maria W. J. Jansen & Dave H. H. Van Kann & Annelore M. C. Verhagen, 2020. "Does Stimulating Physical Activity Affect School Performance?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 39(1), pages 64-95, January.
    7. Yajuan Li & Marco A. Palma & Zhicheng Phil Xu, 2017. "Impacts of playing after school on academic performance: a propensity score matching approach," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(6), pages 575-589, November.
    8. Laura M. Crispin, 2017. "Extracurricular Participation, “At-Risk” Status, and the High School Dropout Decision," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 12(2), pages 166-196, Spring.
    9. 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.
    10. Cuffe, H.E. & Harbaugh, W.T. & Lindo, J.M. & Musto, G. & Waddell, G.R., 2012. "Evidence on the efficacy of school-based incentives for healthy living," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1028-1036.
    11. Hanushek, Eric A. & Peterson, Paul E. & Talpey, Laura M. & Woessmann, Ludger, 2020. "Long-Run Trends in the U.S. SES-Achievement Gap," IZA Discussion Papers 12971, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Eiji Yamamura & Yoshiro Tsutsui, 2017. "Trade policy preference, childhood sporting experience, and informal school curriculum: Examination from the viewpoint of behavioral economics," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 17-25, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics.
    13. Lundin, Martin & Nordström Skans, Oskar & Zetterberg, Pär, 2016. "Leadership experiences, labor market entry, and early career trajectories," Working Paper Series 2016:2, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    14. Joseph J. Sabia & Kurt Wang & Resul Cesur, 2017. "Sleepwalking Through School: New Evidence On Sleep And Academic Achievement," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(2), pages 331-344, April.
    15. Pfeifer Christian & Seidel Katja, 2020. "Students’ Time Allocation and School Performance: A Comparison between Student Jobs, Sports and Music Participation," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 240(5), pages 607-652, October.
    16. Michael Müller, 2016. "Der Zusammenhang zwischen sportlicher (Wettkampf-)Aktivität und kognitiver Leistung," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 838, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    17. Fricke, Hans & Lechner, Michael & Steinmayr, Andreas, 2018. "The effects of incentives to exercise on student performance in college," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 14-39.
    18. Holford, Angus, 2020. "Youth employment, academic performance and labour market outcomes: Production functions and policy effects," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(C).
    19. Ransom, Michael R & Ransom, Tyler, 2018. "Do high school sports build or reveal character? Bounding causal estimates of sports participation," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 75-89.
    20. Pablo Usán & Carlos Salavera, 2017. "Influence of Physical Self-Concept in Drug Use in Adolescent Students Athletes," SAGE Open, , vol. 7(2), pages 21582440177, June.
    21. Müller, Michael, 2015. "Der Zusammenhang zwischen sportlicher (Wettkampf-)Aktivität und kognitiver Leistung," Discussion Papers of the Institute for Organisational Economics 1/2015, University of Münster, Institute for Organisational Economics.
    22. Wang, Kurt & Sabia, Joseph J. & Cesur, Resul, 2016. "Sleepwalking through School: New Evidence on Sleep and Academic Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 9829, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    23. Ransom, Michael R. & Ransom, Tyler, 2017. "Do High School Sports Build or Reveal Character?," IZA Discussion Papers 11110, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    24. Laura M. Crispin & Michael Kofoed, 2019. "Does Time To Work Limit Time To Play?: Estimating A Time Allocation Model For High School Students By Household Socioeconomic Status," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(3), pages 524-544, July.
    25. Cabane, Charlotte & Hille, Adrian & Lechner, Michael, 2016. "Mozart or Pelé? The effects of adolescents' participation in music and sports," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 90-103.

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