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Work out or out of work -- The labor market return to physical fitness and leisure sports activities

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  • Rooth, Dan-Olof

Abstract

This study is the first to present evidence of the return to leisure sports in the job hiring process by sending fictitious applications to real job openings in the Swedish labor market. In the field experiment job applicants were randomly given different information about their type and level of leisure sports. Applicants who signaled sports skills had a significantly higher callback rate of about 2 percentage points, and this effect was about twice as large for physically demanding occupations. Additional evidence of a sports premium in the regular labor market is arrived at when analyzing the long-run impact of physical fitness on later labor market outcomes. The analysis uses register data on adult earnings and physical fitness when enlisting at age 18. The fitness premium, net of unobservable family variables, is in the order of 4-5%, but diminishes to 2% when controlling for non-cognitive skills.

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  • Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2011. "Work out or out of work -- The labor market return to physical fitness and leisure sports activities," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 399-409, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:18:y:2011:i:3:p:399-409
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    Cited by:

    1. Hyytinen, Ari & Lahtonen, Jukka, 2013. "The effect of physical activity on long-term income," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 129-137.
    2. Yamamura, Eiji, 2013. "Is body mass human capital in sports? Outcome of globalization of sumo wrestling and generation of human capital in Japan," MPRA Paper 44692, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Stefan Eriksson & Dan-Olof Rooth, 2014. "Do Employers Use Unemployment as a Sorting Criterion When Hiring? Evidence from a Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(3), pages 1014-1039, March.
    4. Petter Lundborg; & Anton Nilsson; & Dan-Olof Rooth, 2012. "Parental education and offspring outcomes: evidence from the Swedish compulsory schooling reform," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 12/12, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    5. Lechner, Michael & Sari, Nazmi, 2015. "Labor market effects of sports and exercise: Evidence from Canadian panel data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 1-15.
    6. Stefan Eriksson & Per Johansson & Sophie Langenskiöld, 2017. "What is the right profile for getting a job? A stated choice experiment of the recruitment process," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 53(2), pages 803-826, September.
    7. Fricke, Hans & Lechner, Michael & Steinmayr, Andreas, 2017. "The Effect of Physical Activity on Student Performance in College: An Experimental Evaluation," CEPR Discussion Papers 12052, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Caliendo, Marco & Gehrsitz, Markus, 2016. "Obesity and the labor market: A fresh look at the weight penalty," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 209-225.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2011. "Work out or out of work -- The labor market return to physical fitness and leisure sports activities," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 399-409, June.
    12. Gaulke, Amanda & Cassidy, Hugh & Namingit, Sheryll, 2019. "The effect of post-baccalaureate business certificates on job search: Results from a correspondence study," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    13. Yamamura, Eiji, 2014. "Is body mass human capital in sumo? Outcome of globalization and formation of human capital in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 53-71.
    14. Magnus Carlsson & Dan-Olof Rooth, 2012. "Revealing taste-based discrimination in hiring: a correspondence testing experiment with geographic variation," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(18), pages 1861-1864, December.
    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. 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.
    17. Petter Lundborg & Anton Nilsson & Dan-Olof Rooth, 2014. "Parental Education and Offspring Outcomes: Evidence from the Swedish Compulsory School Reform," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 253-278, January.
    18. Piopiunik, Marc & Schwerdt, Guido & Simon, Lisa & Woessmann, Ludger, 2020. "Skills, signals, and employability: An experimental investigation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 123(C).
    19. 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.
    20. Böckerman, Petri & Johansson, Edvard & Kiiskinen, Urpo & Heliövaara, Markku, 2010. "The relationship between physical work and the height premium: Finnish evidence," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 414-420, December.
    21. Lundborg, Petter & Nystedt, Paul & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2010. "No Country for Fat Men? Obesity, Earnings, Skills, and Health among 450,000 Swedish Men," IZA Discussion Papers 4775, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    22. 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).
    23. Kavetsos, Georgios, 2011. "The impact of physical activity on employment," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 775-779.
    24. Carlsson, Magnus & Fumarco, Luca & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2018. "Does Labor Market Tightness Affect Ethnic Discrimination in Hiring?," IZA Discussion Papers 11285, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    25. Michael Lechner, 2011. "Leisure Sports Participation in Switzerland," Chapters, in: Plácido Rodríguez & Stefan Késenne & Brad R. Humphreys (ed.),The Economics of Sport, Health and Happiness, chapter 5, Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Leisure sports Physical fitness Cardiovascular fitness Correspondence testing Earnings;

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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