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Does sports activity improve health? Representative evidence using proximity to sports facilities as an instrument


Brechot, Marc; Nüesch, Stephan; Franck, E (2014). Does sports activity improve health? Representative evidence using proximity to sports facilities as an instrument. IBW Working Paper Series 348, University of Zurich.

Abstract

Using representative and geocoded data from the Swiss Household Panel and the Swiss Business Census, we estimate the effect of sports activity on health care utilization and health. Because sports activity is likely correlated with unobserved determinants of health care utilization and health, we use the number of sports facilities within 6 miles of the individual’s residence as an instrument. We find that doing sports at least once a week significantly reduces the number of doctor visits, overweight and sleeping problems. The magnitudes of these effects are larger in the IV estimations than in OLS estimations, which are biased toward zero due to reporting errors in sports activity and an omitted variable bias. To know the magnitudes of the causal effects is crucial for any kind of cost-benefit analysis of promoting individual sports activity.

Abstract

Using representative and geocoded data from the Swiss Household Panel and the Swiss Business Census, we estimate the effect of sports activity on health care utilization and health. Because sports activity is likely correlated with unobserved determinants of health care utilization and health, we use the number of sports facilities within 6 miles of the individual’s residence as an instrument. We find that doing sports at least once a week significantly reduces the number of doctor visits, overweight and sleeping problems. The magnitudes of these effects are larger in the IV estimations than in OLS estimations, which are biased toward zero due to reporting errors in sports activity and an omitted variable bias. To know the magnitudes of the causal effects is crucial for any kind of cost-benefit analysis of promoting individual sports activity.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Business Administration
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:15 October 2014
Deposited On:20 Nov 2014 07:51
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 18:31
Series Name:IBW Working Paper Series
Related URLs:http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2510771
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:11440

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