Does Sports Activity Improve Health? Representative Evidence Using Density of Sports Facilities as an Instrument
Forthcoming, Applied Economics
29 Pages Posted: 16 Oct 2014 Last revised: 20 Feb 2017
Date Written: February 1, 2017
Using representative and geocoded data from the Swiss Household Panel (SHP) and the Swiss Business Census, we estimate the effect of sports activity on health. OLS models show that sports activity significantly decreases overweight, sleeping problems, headaches, back problems, and perceived health impediments in everyday activities and significantly increases health satisfaction. Because sports activity is likely to be misreported and correlated with unobserved determinants of health, we use the number of sports facilities within 6 miles of the individual’s residence as an instrument for sports activity. Although the instrument is powerful in explaining sports activity, the second-stage effects on health are mostly statistically insignificant due to the high standard errors of the IV estimates.
Keywords: sports activity; health; instrumental variable; sports facilities
JEL Classification: I10, I12, H51, C26
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation