nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2013‒04‒20
one paper chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Physical Inactivity of Workers and its Relation to Uneven Allocation of Public Sports Facilities By Kumagai, Narimasa

  1. By: Kumagai, Narimasa
    Abstract: Personal lifestyle choices such as leisure-time physical activity are major determinants of both the health and happiness of individuals. However, price discrimination exists between municipalities at almost public sports facilities. An economic intervention to change the cost of using public sports facilities could affect both the level of participation in sports and the health of the participants. Workers in rural areas have better access to public sports facilities, but lower income workers did not tend to engage in leisure-time physical activity. Using micro-data from nationwide surveys, we examined the effects of the policy to promote cross-border use of public sports facilities by workers in Japan, taking into account the endogeneity problem among physical activity, self-assessed health and happiness. We analyzed the relationship between physical inactivity and health using two latent dichotomous variables. As a proxy variable of the number of potential users of public sports facilities, the ratio of population to the number of public sports facilities was used. The seemingly unrelated bivariate probit model of latent physical inactivity and latent health provided the best specification. The ratio of population to the number of public sports facilities had two opposite effects. One was a negative effect on physical inactivity and the other was a positive effect on latent health. We concluded that abolishing price discrimination between municipalities to promote the cross-border use of public sports facilities would increase the health of the individuals. Since population has been decreasing in most municipalities in Japan, with the exception of several large cities, a policy which abolishes the price discrimination between municipalities would seem to be a good health policy.
    Keywords: Concentration Index, Perceived Happiness, Physical Inactivity, Public Sports Facilities, Self-Assessed Health
    Date: 2013–03

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