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The effects of incentives to exercise on student performance in college

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  • Fricke, Hans
  • Lechner, Michael
  • Steinmayr, Andreas

Abstract

What are the effects of on-campus recreational sports and exercise on educational outcomes of university students? We randomize financial incentives to encourage students' participation in on-campus sports and exercise in two cohorts of college freshmen. Incentives increased participation frequency by 47% and improved grades by 0.14 standard deviations in the first cohort. The incentives were less effective in promoting participation and did not improve grades in the second cohort. In the first cohort, students primarily substituted off-campus with on campus physical activities and seemed more able to integrate exercising with studying. The incentives appear to have improved grades by enhancing the effectiveness of studying and encouraging students to spend more time in class.

Suggested Citation

  • Fricke, Hans & Lechner, Michael & Steinmayr, Andreas, 2018. "The effects of incentives to exercise on student performance in college," Munich Reprints in Economics 62839, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:62839
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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