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Beyond the Classroom: Using Title IX to Measure the Return to High School Sports

  • Betsey Stevenson

Between 1972 and 1978 U.S. high schools rapidly increased their female athletic participation rates--to approximately the same level as their male athletic participation rates--in order to comply with Title IX, a policy change that provides a unique quasi-experiment in female athletic participation. This paper examines the causal implications of this expansion in female sports participation by using variation in the level of boys' athletic participation across states before Title IX to instrument for the change in girls' athletic participation. Analysis of differences in outcomes across states in changes between pre- and post-cohorts reveals that a 10-percentage point rise in state-level female sports participation generates a 1 percentage point increase in female college attendance and a 1 to 2 percentage point rise in female labor force participation. Furthermore, greater opportunities to play sports leads to greater female participation in previously male-dominated occupations, particularly in high-skill occupations.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15728.

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Date of creation: Feb 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Betsey Stevenson, 2010. "Beyond the Classroom: Using Title IX to Measure the Return to High School Sports," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 284-301, 08.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15728
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  1. Katz, Lawrence & Goldin, Claudia, 2002. "The Power of the Pill: Oral Contraceptives and Women's Career and Marriage Decisions," Scholarly Articles 2624453, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  8. Ewing, Bradley T., 1998. "Athletes and work," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 113-117, April.
  9. Susan Averett & Sanders Korenman, 1993. "The Economic Reality of the Beauty Myth," NBER Working Papers 4521, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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