NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Isaac Swensen

Contact and additional information for this authorAll papers and publicationsWorking Papers onlyWorking Papers with publication info

Working Papers and Chapters

December 2011Are Big-Time Sports a Threat to Student Achievement?
with Jason M. Lindo, Glen R. Waddell: w17677
We consider the relationship between collegiate-football success and non-athlete student performance. We find that the team's success significantly reduces male grades relative to female grades. This phenomenon is only present in fall quarters, which coincides with the football season. Using survey data, we find that males are more likely than females to increase alcohol consumption, decrease studying, and increase partying in response to the success of the team. Yet, females also report that their behavior is affected by athletic success, suggesting that their performance is likely impaired but that this effect is masked by the practice of grade curving.
Alcohol and Student Performance: Estimating the Effect of Legal Access
with Jason M. Lindo, Glen R. Waddell: w17637
We consider the effect of legal access to alcohol on student achievement. We first estimate the effect using an RD design but argue that this approach is not well suited to the research question in our setting. Our preferred approach instead exploits the longitudinal nature of the data, identifying the effect by measuring the extent to which a student’s performance changes after he gains legal access to alcohol, controlling flexibly for the expected evolution of grades as students make progress towards their degrees. We find that students’ grades fall below their expected levels upon being able to drink legally, but by less than previously documented. We also show that there are effects on women and that the effects are persistent.

Contact and additional information for this authorAll papers and publicationsWorking Papers onlyWorking Papers with publication info

 
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