nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2019‒07‒22
two papers chosen by
Humberto Barreto
DePauw University

  1. Is there an Economic Case for the Olympic Games? By Chris Dempsey; Victor Matheson
  2. Does Stimulating Physical Activity Affect School Performance? By Golsteyn, Bart H.H.; Jansen, Maria W. J.; Van Kann, Dave H. H.; Verhagen, Annelore

  1. By: Chris Dempsey (No Boston Olympics); Victor Matheson (Department of Economics and Accounting, College of the Holy CrossAuthor-Name: Victor Matheson; Department of Economics, Smith College)
    Abstract: The Olympic Games are a major undertaking that promise both large costs and potentially large benefits to host cities. This paper lays out the potential economic benefits of hosting the Olympics and details how, in the vast majority of cases, these gains are unlikely to cover the costs of hosting the event. The ideas are then applied to the experience of Boston in its ultimately unsuccessful bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics.
    Keywords: Olympics, mega-events, impact analysis, Boston, tourism
    JEL: O18 R53
    Date: 2019–07
  2. By: Golsteyn, Bart H.H. (Maastricht University); Jansen, Maria W. J. (Maastricht University); Van Kann, Dave H. H. (Fontys University of Applied Sciences); Verhagen, Annelore (Maastricht University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether encouraging children to become more physically active in their everyday life affects their primary school performance. We use data from a field quasi-experiment called the Active Living Program, which aimed to increase active modes of transportation to school and active play among 8- to 12-year-olds living in low socioeconomic status (SES) areas in the Netherlands. Difference-in-differences estimations reveal that while the interventions increase time spent on physical activity during school hours, they negatively affect school performance, especially among the worst-performing students. Further analyses reveal that increased restlessness during instruction time is a potential mechanism for this negative effect. Our results suggest that the commonly found positive effects of exercising or participating in sports on educational outcomes may not be generalizable to physical activity in everyday life. Policymakers and educators who seek to increase physical activity in everyday life need to weigh the health and well-being benefits against the probability of increasing inequality in school performance.
    Keywords: health behavior, field quasi-experiment, education, physical activity
    JEL: I12 C93 I20
    Date: 2019–06

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