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Friday, January 11, 2008

Educational Attainment: New Evidence from Germany

by Christian Pfeifer
Institute of Labour Economics
Leibniz University Hannover

Overall, we conclude that participation of German adolescents in sport activities has
significant positive effects on educational attainment. This finding is in line with
theoretical considerations about allocation of time and educational productivity.
According to our estimates, taking possible endogeneity of participation in sports into
account makes the effect stronger. We also find evidence that the effect is generally
larger for women than for men, especially if they participate in competitions. However, the results also point to the fact that taking part in competitions might offset (but not reverse) the beneficial effects of sports on the highest degrees, probably because both competitions and studying for the highest degrees are very time-consuming activities. The positive effects of sport activities should encourage politics to strengthen sport activities in school and out of school. Moreover, parents should be aware of these positive effects, i.e., they should encourage their children to get involved in sports. It seems especially beneficial for girls to participate in sports because it strengthens their position in competing with boys in classroom and probably also their position in male dominated societies and work surroundings.

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