For Better or Worse? The Effects of Physical Education on Child Development

97 Pages Posted: 29 Jan 2018

See all articles by Michael Knaus

Michael Knaus

University of St. Gallen

Michael Lechner

University of St. Gallen - Swiss Institute for Empirical Economic Research

Anne Reimers

Chemnitz University of Technology (CUT)

Abstract

This study analyses the effects of regular physical education at school on cognitive skills, non-cognitive skills, motor skills, physical activity, and health. It is based on a very informative data set, the German Motorik-Modul, and identifies the effect by using variation in the required numbers of physical education lessons across and within German federal states. The results show improvements in cognitive skills. Boys' non-cognitive skills are adversely affected driven by increased peer relation problems. For girls, the results suggest improvements in motor skills and increased extra-curricular physical activities. Generally, we find no statistically significant effects on health parameters.

Keywords: physical education, cognitive skills, non-cognitive skills, motor skills, physical activity, health

JEL Classification: I26, Z28, I12

Suggested Citation

Knaus, Michael and Lechner, Michael and Reimers, Anne, For Better or Worse? The Effects of Physical Education on Child Development. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11268. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3111142

Michael Knaus (Contact Author)

University of St. Gallen ( email )

Varnbuelstr. 14
Saint Gallen, St. Gallen CH-9000
Switzerland

Michael Lechner

University of St. Gallen - Swiss Institute for Empirical Economic Research ( email )

Varnbuelstrasse 14
St. Gallen, 9000
Switzerland
+41 71 224 2320 (Phone)

Anne Reimers

Chemnitz University of Technology (CUT)

Chemnitz
Germany

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