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The Chastain Effect: Using Title IX to Measure the Causal Effect of Participating in High School Sports on Adult Women's Social Lives

23 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2013  

Phoebe Clarke

Yale University - Law School

Ian Ayres

Yale University - Yale Law School; Yale University - Yale School of Management

Date Written: December 12, 2013

Abstract

Many studies have sought to estimate the effects of participating in sports on ex-athletes’ adult lives. This paper contributes to the existing literature in two ways. First, it adopts an instrumental-variables method pioneered by Betsey Stevenson (2010) in which variation in rates of boys’ athletic participation across states before the passage of Title IX is used to instrument for changes in girls’ athletic participation following its passage, thereby avoiding selection bias and allowing for causal estimates. Second, it looks at the effect of participating in sports not on economic, but on social outcomes. In particular, we find that a ten percentage-point increase in state-level female sports participation generates a five to six percentage-point rise in the rate of female secularism, a five percentage-point increase in the proportion of women who are mothers, and a six percentage-point rise in the proportion of mothers who, at the time that they are interviewed, are single mothers. While our results appear to paint a picture of independence from potentially patriarchal institutions (church and marriage), further research is necessary to understand whether our results can be attributed to a single story such as this one or whether they are the products of multiple causal mechanisms.

Suggested Citation

Clarke, Phoebe and Ayres, Ian, The Chastain Effect: Using Title IX to Measure the Causal Effect of Participating in High School Sports on Adult Women's Social Lives (December 12, 2013). Journal of Socio-Economics, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2366906

Phoebe Clarke

Yale University - Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States

Ian Ayres (Contact Author)

Yale University - Yale Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States
203-432-7101 (Phone)
203-432-2592 (Fax)

Yale University - Yale School of Management

135 Prospect Street
P.O. Box 208200
New Haven, CT 06520-8200
United States

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