Quality Leisure Time and Youth Development: What Are the Effects of Sports?

Fuchs, Benjamin, and Osikominu, Aderonke. (2013). Paper presented at 15th IZA/CEPR European Summer Symposium in Labour Economics.

Abstract: This paper sets out to explore what youths do in their leisure time and whether athletic participation affects behavioral outcomes reflecting interpersonal and executive skills. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that informal learning activities during adolescence influence the development of interpersonal and executive skills. Athletes also show better educational outcomes than comparable youths who do not play sports. The benefits from participating in sports tend to be higher for youths from less advantaged families suggesting that athletic involvement may contribute to reducing socioeconomic disparities.

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