The Economics of Sport, Health and Happiness

The Economics of Sport, Health and Happiness

The Promotion of Well-being through Sporting Activities

New Horizons in the Economics of Sport series

Edited by Plácido Rodríguez, Stefan Késenne and Brad R. Humphreys

Including an array of distinguished contributors, this novel book fills a gap in the literature by addressing an important, yet under-researched, issue in the field of sports economics. It places great emphasis on the notion that sport is a significant component for improving the happiness, health and well-being of citizens, communities and society as a whole. In so doing, it addresses whether, in an environment of increasing pressure on public spending, governments should continue to subsidize sporting activities at the expense of other public resources.

Chapter 12: Sport Opportunities and Local Well-being: Is Sport a Local Amenity?

Tim Pawlowski, Christoph Breuer and Jorge Leyva

Subjects: economics and finance, health policy and economics, sports, social policy and sociology, health policy and economics

Extract

Tim Pawlowski, Christoph Breuer and Jorge Leyva 1. INTRODUCTION For centuries, happiness has been a central theme of famous philosophers like Aristotle or Kant. However, recent important contributions have been developed by psychologists (for example, Nettle, 2005), sociologists (for example, Veenhoven, 1999), political scientists (for example, Lane, 2000) and economists (for example, Oswald, 1997). In the context of economics, happiness can be seen as a subjective approach to utility, and therefore it offers a wide range of possibilities to understand human behaviour. It is considered to be the ultimate goal in life and consequently appears to be a far better measure of individual welfare than income (Frey, 2008). A number of studies have explored the relationship between sport and self-reported, subjective well-being (SWB).1 With few exceptions, most of the research focused on the direct health benefits associated with physical activity and leisure. Empirical proof was found that physical activity in general, increases SWB. Since previous research could detect that the frequency and intensity with which a sport is practised depends on the allocation of sport facilities (Pawlowski et al., 2009; Wicker et al., 2009), a certain allocation of sport facilities itself might contribute to SWB. In order to make strategic political decisions, it is of great importance to know if the allocation of public sport facilities (decentralized versus centralized allocation), that is, the time people need to reach a public sports facility, has a direct impact on SWB. Therefore, this chapter primarily analyses the relationship between SWB and the...

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