Are Big-Time Sports a Threat to Student Achievement?
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.
We thank Kasey Buckles, Charles Clotfelter, Ben Hansen, Dan Rees, Mark Hoekstra and seminar participants at Australia National University and University of Wollongong for beneficial comments. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Jason M. Lindo & Isaac D. Swensen & Glen R. Waddell, 2012. "Are Big-Time Sports a Threat to Student Achievement?," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 254-74, October. citation courtesy of