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The contribution of sport to national pride and well-being: An international perspective

Listed author(s):
  • Tim Pawlowski


    (German Sport University Cologne)

  • Paul Downward


    (Loughborough University)

  • Simona Rasciute


    (Loughborough University)

As well as being a growing academic literature, SWB is now firmly on the public policy agenda. Likewise, the sports industry is viewed as being of growing economic significance, reflected in its promotion in public policy. This paper explores the impact of engagement with sports on individual subjective well-being (SWB) for a sample of 34 countries. Engagement with sports is defined to include formal and informal participation, as well as attendance at sports events. It is hypothesized that one dimension of SWB associated with sports by individuals in a country is the pride felt by them as a result of international sports success. To provide a robust account of the determinants of these dimensions of SWB a variety of estimators are employed that also account for any feedback between them. Account is also taken of different country level effects on the impacts. Controlling for standard covariates associated with SWB the results suggest that all forms of sports engagement enhance SWB. However, it is suggested that there is also an indirect impact of pride felt from international sporting success on SWB. Crucially, these effects are, in part, determined by formal participation in sport, or attendance at sport events but not informal participation. Further, there is some evidence that pride has a strong country-level dimension. A further interesting policy dilemma raised by the research is that passive engagement at sports is more likely to raise SWB.

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Paper provided by International Association of Sports Economists & North American Association of Sports Economists in its series Working Papers with number 1111.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: May 2011
Handle: RePEc:spe:wpaper:1111
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