Do Former College Athletes Earn More at Work? A Nonparametric Assessment

Posted: 16 Aug 2006

See all articles by Daniel J. Henderson

Daniel J. Henderson

University of Alabama; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); Xiamen University - Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics (WISE)

Alexandre Olbrecht

Ramapo College of New Jersey

Solomon W. Polachek

State University of New York at Binghamton; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Abstract

This paper investigates how students' collegiate athletic participation affects their subsequent labor market success. By using newely developed techniques in nonparametric regression, it shows that on average former college athletes earn a wage premium. However, the premium is not uniform, but skewed so that more than half the athletes actually earn less than nonathletes. Further, the premium is not uniform across occupations. Athletes earn more in the fields on business, military, and manual labor, but surprisingly, athletes are more likely to become high school teachers, jobs that pay relatively lower wages to athletes.

Keywords: Nonparametric, Sports Economics, Generalized Kernel Estimation, Wage Determination, Athletics

JEL Classification: C14, J10, J30, J40, L83

Suggested Citation

Henderson, Daniel J. and Olbrecht, Alexandre and Polachek, Solomon W., Do Former College Athletes Earn More at Work? A Nonparametric Assessment. Journal of Human Resources, Vol. 41, pp. 559-577, 2006, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=924398

Daniel J. Henderson (Contact Author)

University of Alabama ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://cba.ua.edu/~djhender

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

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Xiamen University - Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics (WISE)

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Alexandre Olbrecht

Ramapo College of New Jersey ( email )

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Solomon W. Polachek

State University of New York at Binghamton ( email )

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United States
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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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