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Effects of Title IX and Sports Participation on Girls' Physical Activity and Weight

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  • Robert Kaestner
  • Xin Xu

Abstract

In this study, we examined the association between girls%u2019 participation in high school sports and the physical activity, weight, body mass and body composition of adolescent females during the 1970s when girls%u2019 sports participation was dramatically increasing as a result of Title IX. We found that increases in girls%u2019 participation in high school sports, a proxy for expanded athletic opportunities for adolescent females, were associated with an increase in physical activity and an improvement in weight and body mass among girls. In contrast, adolescent boys experienced a decline in physical activity and an increase in weight and body mass during the period when girls%u2019 athletic opportunities were expanding. Taken together, these results strongly suggest that Title IX and the increase in athletic opportunities among adolescent females it engendered had a beneficial effect on the health of adolescent girls.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Kaestner & Xin Xu, 2006. "Effects of Title IX and Sports Participation on Girls' Physical Activity and Weight," NBER Working Papers 12113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12113
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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w12113.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 93-118, Summer.
    2. John Cawley & Chad Meyerhoefer & David Newhouse, 2007. "The impact of state physical education requirements on youth physical activity and overweight," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(12), pages 1287-1301.
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    Cited by:

    1. Loh, Chung-Ping A. & Li, Qiang, 2013. "Peer effects in adolescent bodyweight: Evidence from rural China," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 35-44.
    2. Brad R. Humphreys & Jane E. Ruseski, 2015. "The Economic Choice of Participation and Time Spent in Physical Activity and Sport in Canada," International Journal of Sport Finance, Fitness Information Technology, vol. 10(2), pages 138-159, May.
    3. Lisa Schulkind, 2013. "Getting a Sporting Chance: Title IX and the Intergenerational Transmission of Health," Working Papers 1305, Trinity College, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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