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J Health Econ. 2009 Jul;28(4):839-54. doi: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2009.05.003. Epub 2009 Jun 6.

Long-run labour market and health effects of individual sports activities.

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  • 1Swiss Institute for Empirical Economic Research (SEW), University of St. Gallen, Varnb├╝elstrasse 14, CH-9000 St. Gallen, Switzerland.


This microeconometric study analyzes the effects of individual leisure sports participation on long-term labour market variables, health and subjective well-being indicators for West Germany based on individual data from the German Socio-Economic Panel study (GSOEP) 1984-2006. Econometric problems due to individuals choosing their own level of sports activities are tackled by combining informative data and flexible semiparametric estimation methods with a specific way to use the panel dimension of the data. The paper shows that sports activities have sizeable positive long-term labour market effects in terms of earnings and wages, as well as positive effects on health and subjective well-being.

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