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Empirical Evidence on Educational Effects of Physical Activity: Four Examples

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  • Lechner, Michael

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Abstract

In this paper, we address the question of how physical activity of children and young adults affect their educational outcomes. To do so, we will take up four examples of our own work to illustrate different aspects of this research agenda. In contrast to the amazingly large literature on health effects, educational outcomes received much less attention. This is surprising given that building-up human capital is an undisputable and very expensive goal of (almost) all countries. Exploiting the ‘side-effects’ of sports and physical activity in this direction may be a cost-efficient way of improving the human capital of young people and thus increasing the future productivity of the economy. Three of the examples are based on German data, while one is based on Swiss data. Essentially, the three papers investigating the question of more versus less sports find that more sports is beneficial for cognitive skills (and some non-cognitive skills as well). Concerning the paper that compares sports activities to music related activities, the advantages of sports (compared to spending the time in structural music activity) on educational outcomes however cannot be established.

Suggested Citation

  • Lechner, Michael, 2016. "Empirical Evidence on Educational Effects of Physical Activity: Four Examples," Economics Working Paper Series 1619, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:usg:econwp:2016:19
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    File URL: http://ux-tauri.unisg.ch/RePEc/usg/econwp/EWP-1619.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Cawley, John & Frisvold, David & Meyerhoefer, Chad, 2013. "The impact of physical education on obesity among elementary school children," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 743-755.
    2. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2010. "The Credibility Revolution in Empirical Economics: How Better Research Design Is Taking the Con out of Econometrics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 3-30, Spring.
    3. Felfe, Christina & Lechner, Michael & Steinmayr, Andreas, 2011. "Sport and Child Development," Economics Working Paper Series 1135, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    4. Cabane, Charlotte & Hille, Adrian & Lechner, Michael, 2015. "Mozart or Pelé? The effects of teenagers’ participation in music and sports," CEPR Discussion Papers 10556, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. 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, May.
    6. Hille, Adrian & Schupp, Jürgen, 2015. "How learning a musical instrument affects the development of skills," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 56-82.
    7. Pfeifer, Christian & Cornelißen, Thomas, 2010. "The impact of participation in sports on educational attainment--New evidence from Germany," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 94-103, February.
    8. 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.
    9. Guido W. Imbens & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2009. "Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(1), pages 5-86, March.
    10. Lechner, Michael, 2009. "Long-run labour market and health effects of individual sports activities," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 839-854, July.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sports economics; human capital; education;

    JEL classification:

    • Z20 - Other Special Topics - - Sports Economics - - - General

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