The Economics of Sport, Health and Happiness
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The Economics of Sport, Health and Happiness

The Promotion of Well-being through Sporting Activities

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.
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Chapter 5: Leisure Sports Participation in Switzerland

Michael Lechner


* Michael Lechner INTRODUCTION 1. Recently, there is a renewed interest in the correlates and determinants of sports activities1 as well as the effects of sports activities on labour market outcomes.2 However, the evidence on both dimensions is rather limited for Switzerland. Although there is some descriptive evidence (see Lamprecht et al., 2008), econometric analyses are missing. With this chapter I fill this gap in the literature by investigating the correlates of individual sports participation in Switzerland, as well as the impact of doing sports on health and labour market outcomes. The analysis is based on a very informative individual panel data-set, namely, the Swiss Household Panel (SHP), which currently covers the years 1999 to 2008. The panel structure allows the analysis of dynamic patterns of phenomena under investigation. This advantage comes at a cost, in that the size of samples is fairly moderate. The econometric analysis of the correlates and determinants of sports participation is based on parametric binary choice models. The complex estimation task of obtaining results for the effects of sports activities on labour market, as well as health and general well-being outcomes, is performed by using robust semi-parametric matching methods that closely follow the approach suggested by Lechner (2009). With respect to participation in sports, it turns out that better subjective health and health investments as well as socio-economic status are positively associated with positive activity status. Furthermore, the probability of sports participation in the German-speaking part of Switzerland is considerably higher than in the rest of...

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