Monday, October 01, 2012

UCLA's Football Team's Record is 4-1. Are Beer and Studying Complements or Substitutes?

UCLA makes a big deal about sports.  I don't support this. Now that I've put my cards on the table, I'm happy to show you this new economics paper.  When a university's football team is winning, the dudes stop studying and increase their beer consumption.  Big Time Sports crowds out human capital acquisition!  That's ugly and predictable.

Are Big-Time Sports a Threat to Student Achievement?  (free copy here)
Jason M. Lindo, Isaac D. Swensen and Glen R. Waddell
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, and only 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. (JEL I21, L83)

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