nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2022‒02‒14
four papers chosen by
Humberto Barreto
DePauw University

  1. Academic Performance and Salary Expectations of Competitive and Recreational Athletes vs. Inactive Students By Laura Urgelles; Bernd Frick
  2. ‘If it’s not on Strava, it didn’t happen’ – Identifying user archetypes of sport-specific social media platforms based on motivation and behavior By Fabian Lensing
  3. The Effects of Leisure Activities on Academic Performance By Laura Urgelles; Bernd Frick
  4. Speed, Quality, and the Optimal Timing of Complex Decisions: Field Evidence By Strittmatter, Anthony; Sunde, Uwe; Zegners, Dainis

  1. By: Laura Urgelles (University of Paderborn); Bernd Frick (University of Paderborn)
    Abstract: The aim of the present study was to find out whether salary expectations vary with the different types of athletic involvements. Previous studies based on high school pupil data show that the involvement in sports is beneficial for the grade but only to a certain degree. That is, during the high season of sport, athletes’ grades deteriorate (Schultz, 2017). At the college and university level, most studies find a positive relation between athletic participation and grades (Fricke et al., 2018). Labor economists have identified numerous positive effects of athletic participation, including a higher salary for athletes (Kuhn & Weinberger, 2005; Lechner & Downward, 2017) and former athletes (Ewing, 2007). We conducted an own survey among German university and college students during the summer semester 2016 and obtained a data set with information on sports participation for 4,592 students. Based on this information we group our participants in three athlete types: inactive students (IS), recreational athletes (RA) and competitive athletes (CA). We analyze three equations in a system of seemingly unrelated regression (SUR) with a three-stage least square estimator. Our (alternative) dependent variables are the current average grade, the number of semesters needed to acquire the degree, and the salary expectations. We find that CA expect a significantly higher salary than their inactive peers. CA tend to study longer until they achieve their degrees. We also find that the higher the weekly hours spent on sports, the lower is the student’s grade. The higher the amount of hours spent studying however, the better the grade and the faster the student achieves the degree.
    Keywords: higher education, academic performance, athlete types, sports, seemingly unrelated regressions
    JEL: C83 I23 J22 J24 L83 Z20 Z29
    Date: 2022–02
  2. By: Fabian Lensing (University of Paderborn)
    Abstract: Sport-specific social media platforms such as Strava have become quite popular in recent times. Users can upload their exercise and competition activities, analyze them, share and compare them with fellow athletes, and even compete in virtual (or semi-virtual) challenges through such platforms. Anecdotal evidence suggests strong motivational and behavioral effects of using sport-specific social media. These effects, however, seem to differ across types of users. To identify different user groups and better understand the differences in their behavior and motivations, we conducted a survey among 557 recreational German triathletes. Apart from aspects characterizing platform usage and training activities, we collected socio-demographic information as well as data on personality traits and dispositions (i.e. the BIG 5). Based on these data, we identify four distinct clusters of sport-specific social media users: Casual Consumers, Lone Wolfs, Competitors, and Socializers. While the four types of users differ significantly with respect to motivation and behavior as well as usage frequency, they are not any different in terms of their personality traits. Findings are discussed and contextualized adopting a relational goods perspective.
    Keywords: Sport-specific Social Media, BIG 5 Personality Traits, Triathlon, Motivation, Behavior, Endurance Sports, Relational Goods
    JEL: Z20 L82 L83
    Date: 2022–02
  3. By: Laura Urgelles (University of Paderborn); Bernd Frick (University of Paderborn)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effect of the participation in different leisure activities on university and college students’ average grade. In a first step, we calculate an OLS regression and find that for male students being a member in a fraternity is negatively related with the average grade. Contrarily, being an active member of a political or religious group is posi-tively correlated with the average grade. In a second step we analyze the influence of the two leisure activities most popular among students (music & arts and sports) in more detail. Using an instrumental variables approach, this study finds that the participation in music and arts positively affects female students’ grades. The participation in sports is negatively related with the average grade, although these results are not significant for the female and male subsamples. This paper contributes to the existing knowledge on the subject by providing empirical evidence for the involvement of students in higher education in a range of leisure activities (e.g. music & arts, sports, fraternities, involvement in the university administration, and activity in political and religious groups). Based on these findings, causal inferences about music and arts can be made as well as inferences about participation in sports. As a result, students may rethink their decisions on leisure time allocations. Higher education institutions might also be able to use this information to adapt their funding decisions in order to support academically beneficial activities such as orchestras, theater groups, or musical bands.
    Keywords: leisure activities, higher education, academic performance, instrumental variable regression
    JEL: Z20 Z29 I23 J22 J24 L83 C21 C26
    Date: 2022–02
  4. By: Strittmatter, Anthony (CREST-ENSAE); Sunde, Uwe (LMU Munich); Zegners, Dainis (Rotterdam School of Management)
    Abstract: This paper presents an empirical investigation of the relation between decision speed and decision quality for a real-world setting of cognitively-demanding decisions in which the timing of decisions is endogenous: professional chess. Move-by-move data provide exceptionally detailed and precise information about decision times and decision quality, based on a comparison of actual decisions to a computational benchmark of best moves constructed using the artificial intelligence of a chess engine. The results reveal that faster decisions are associated with better performance. The findings are consistent with the predictions of procedural decision models like drift-diffusion-models in which decision makers sequentially acquire information about decision alternatives with uncertain valuations.
    Keywords: response times; speed-performance profile; drift-diffusion model; uncertain evaluations;
    JEL: D01
    Date: 2022–02–04

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