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The Economics of Persistence: Graduation Rates of Athletes as Labor Market Choice

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  • Lawrence DeBrock
  • Wallace Hendricks
  • Roger Koenker

Abstract

In this paper we analyze data for each Division I National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) school on academic characteristics, athletic characteristics, and graduation rates. Three groups of athletes are studied: male football players, male basketball players, and female basketball players. We find strong empirical evidence that traditional labor market opportunities unrelated to sports are significant explanatory variables of the persistence of athletes. In addition, we find support for the hypothesis that professional opportunities have a significant impact on the graduation rate of athletes. This impact is stronger in sports with higher expected financial returns from this form of nondegree employment.

Suggested Citation

  • Lawrence DeBrock & Wallace Hendricks & Roger Koenker, 1996. "The Economics of Persistence: Graduation Rates of Athletes as Labor Market Choice," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(3), pages 513-539.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:31:y:1996:i:3:p:513-539
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Alex Krumer & Tal Shavit & Mosi Rosenboim, 2011. "Why do professional athletes have different time preferences than non-athletes?," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 6(6), pages 542-551, August.
    2. Murphy, Kevin J., 2000. "What effect does uncertainty have on the length of labor contracts?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 181-201, March.
    3. Kahn, Lawrence M., 2006. "The Economics of College Sports: Cartel Behavior vs. Amateurism," IZA Discussion Papers 2186, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Zavale, Nelson Casimiro & Santos, Luísa A. & Manuel, Lourenço & da Conceição L. Dias, Maria & Khan, Maida A. & Tostão, Emílio & Mondjana, Ana M., 2017. "Decision-making in African universities demands rigorous data: Evidence from graduation rates at Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 122-134.
    5. Lawrence M. Kahn, 2007. "Markets: Cartel Behavior and Amateurism in College Sports," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 209-226, Winter.
    6. B. Erin Fairweather, 2013. "The impact of increased academic standards of Proposition 16 on the graduation rates of women and men in Division IA intercollegiate athletics," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics of Women in Sports, chapter 11, pages 233-250 Edward Elgar Publishing.

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