Are Big-Time Sports a Threat to Student Achievement?

32 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2011 Last revised: 21 Apr 2021

See all articles by Jason M. Lindo

Jason M. Lindo

Texas A&M University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Isaac D. Swensen

Montana State University - Bozeman - Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics

Glen R. Waddell

University of Oregon - Department of Economics; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Date Written: December 2011

Abstract

We consider the relationship between collegiate-football success and non-athlete student performance. We find that the team's success significantly reduces male grades relative to female grades. This phenomenon is only present in fall quarters, which coincides with the football season. Using survey data, we find that males are more likely than females to increase alcohol consumption, decrease studying, and increase partying in response to the success of the team. Yet, females also report that their behavior is affected by athletic success, suggesting that their performance is likely impaired but that this effect is masked by the practice of grade curving.

Suggested Citation

Lindo, Jason M. and Swensen, Isaac D. and Waddell, Glen R., Are Big-Time Sports a Threat to Student Achievement? (December 2011). NBER Working Paper No. w17677, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1973888

Jason M. Lindo (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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Isaac D. Swensen

Montana State University - Bozeman - Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics ( email )

Bozeman, MT 59717-2920
United States

Glen R. Waddell

University of Oregon - Department of Economics ( email )

Eugene, OR 97403
United States
541-346-1259 (Phone)
541-346-1243 (Fax)

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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