Suburban Sprawl Has a Causal Effect on Basketball Skills
This long NY Times sports piece takes you on a tour of outdoor b-ball in NYC. The author observes that suburban kids are better pure shooters than urban kids and argues that this is a causal treatment effect! Here is the quote:
"The city’s busy, congested courts have influenced the style of play that takes place on them. For instance, I haven’t run across many pure shooters, but I have encountered a lot of athletes with wicked ball-handling skills. My theory is that because the courts here are so packed with players, there is not enough time or space to practice jump shots.
That is why so many shooters, I suspect, are cornfed boys from the Midwest and prep schoolers from the suburbs: the country and sprawl quarantine them, and they have nothing to do but practice fundamentals by their lonesome.
In the city, amid swarms of young men and women, you practice ball handling, playing keep-away 21 — the one-on-everybody-else game."
This is a funny example of the causal effects of suburbanization. I have worked on this topic in the case of greenhouse gas emissions but not in the case of basketball skills!