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Students' effort and educational achievement: Using the timing of the World Cup to vary the value of leisure

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  • Metcalfe, Robert
  • Burgess, Simon
  • Proud, Steven

Abstract

We study the effect of a sharp, exogenous, and repeated change in the value of leisure on educational achievement, arising from the overlap of major international football tournaments with high-stakes tests. Using administrative data covering almost all students in England, we find a significant negative average effect of the tournament on exam performance. The odds of reaching the achievement benchmark fall by 12% on average, considerably more for students likely to be interested in football. Analysis of within-student variation shows a 0.02 SD fall in grades, 0.06 SD for the interested. We interpret our results as reflecting changes in student effort.

Suggested Citation

  • Metcalfe, Robert & Burgess, Simon & Proud, Steven, 2019. "Students' effort and educational achievement: Using the timing of the World Cup to vary the value of leisure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 172(C), pages 111-126.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:172:y:2019:i:c:p:111-126
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2018.12.006
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Dolan, Paul & Kavetsos, Georgios & Krekel, Christian & Mavridis, Dimitris & Metcalfe, Robert & Senik, Claudia & Szymanski, Stefan & Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2019. "Quantifying the intangible impact of the Olympics using subjective well-being data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 177(C), pages 1-1.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Educational achievement; Student effort; Schools; Value of leisure;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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