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Sport and Child Development

  • Felfe, Christina


  • Lechner, Michael


  • Steinmayr, Andreas


Despite the relevance of cognitive and non-cognitive skills for professional success, their formation is not yet fully understood. This study fills part of this gap by analyzing the role of sports club participation, one of the most popular extra-curricular activities, on children’s skill development. Our results indicate positive effects: school performance improves by 0.20 standard deviations and overall non-cognitive skills by 0.09 standard deviations. The results are robust when using alternative datasets as well as alternative estimation and identification strategies. The effects can be partially explained by increased physical activities replacing passive leisure activities.

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Paper provided by University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science in its series Economics Working Paper Series with number 1135.

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Length: 68 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:usg:econwp:2011:35
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  1. Markus Froelich, 2002. "Nonparametric IV estimation of local average treatment effects with covariates," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2002 2002-19, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  2. Rees, Daniel I. & Sabia, Joseph J., 2010. "Sports participation and academic performance: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 751-759, October.
  3. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman & Lance Lochner & Dimitriy V. Masterov, 2005. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," NBER Working Papers 11331, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. Betsey Stevenson, 2010. "Beyond the Classroom: Using Title IX to Measure the Return to High School Sports," CESifo Working Paper Series 2959, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Huber, Martin & Lechner, Michael & Wunsch, Conny, 2010. "How to Control for Many Covariates? Reliable Estimators Based on the Propensity Score," IZA Discussion Papers 5268, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2005. "Why the Apple Doesn't Fall Far: Understanding Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 437-449, March.
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  11. Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2002. "Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1308-1334, December.
  12. Michael Lechner & Ruth Miquel & Conny Wunsch, 2011. "Long‐Run Effects Of Public Sector Sponsored Training In West Germany," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 742-784, 08.
  13. Steinmayr, Andreas & Felfe, Christina & Lechner, Michael, 2011. "The closer the sportier? Children's sport activity and their distance to sport facilities," Economics Working Paper Series 1104, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
  14. Cornelissen, Thomas & Pfeifer, Christian, 2007. "The Impact of Participation in Sports on Educational Attainment: New Evidence from Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 3160, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Murnane, Richard J & Willett, John B & Levy, Frank, 1995. "The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(2), pages 251-66, May.
  16. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 411-482, July.
  17. Eide, Eric R. & Ronan, Nick, 2001. "Is participation in high school athletics an investment or a consumption good?: Evidence from high school and beyond," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 431-442, October.
  18. John M. Barron & Bradley T. Ewing & Glen R. Waddell, 2000. "The Effects Of High School Athletic Participation On Education And Labor Market Outcomes," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 409-421, August.
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  21. Leibowitz, Arleen, 1974. "Home Investments in Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages S111-S131, Part II, .
  22. David M. Blau, 1999. "The Effect Of Income On Child Development," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 261-276, May.
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  24. Nicola Persico & Andrew Postlewaite & Dan Silverman, 2003. "The Effect of Adolescent Experience on Labor Market Outcomes: The Case of Height," PIER Working Paper Archive 03-036, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  25. Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J. & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2004. "The More the Merrier? The Effect of Family Composition on Children's Education," IZA Discussion Papers 1269, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  26. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2006. "On the Failure of the Bootstrap for Matching Estimators," NBER Technical Working Papers 0325, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Pedro Carneiro & Claire Crawford & Alissa Goodman, 2007. "The Impact of Early Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills on Later Outcomes," CEE Discussion Papers 0092, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  28. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2008. "Preschool Television Viewing and Adolescent Test Scores: Historical Evidence from the Coleman Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(1), pages 279-323.
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  30. Gerd Ahlert, 2004. "Investive Sportförderung in der Bundesrepublik – Ökonomische Impulse eines öffentlich finanzierten Infrastrukturprogramms zur Sanierung und Modernisierung der Sportstätten," GWS Discussion Paper Series 04-2, GWS - Institute of Economic Structures Research.
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