Skip to content

Students' effort and educational achievement: Using the timing of the World Cup to vary the value of leisure

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-126
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Public Economics
Early online date22 Jan 2019
DateAccepted/In press - 18 Dec 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 22 Jan 2019
DatePublished (current) - Apr 2019


We study the effect of a sharp, exogenous, and repeated change in the value of leisure on educational achievement, arising from the overlap of major international football tournaments with high-stakes tests. Using administrative data covering almost all students in England, we find a significant negative average effect of the tournament on exam performance. The odds of reaching the achievement benchmark fall by 12% on average, considerably more for students likely to be interested in football. Analysis of within-student variation shows a 0.02 SD fall in grades, 0.06 SD for the interested. We interpret our results as reflecting changes in student effort.

    Structured keywords

  • ECON Applied Economics

    Research areas

  • Educational achievement, Schools, Student effort, Value of leisure



  • Full-text PDF (accepted author manuscript)

    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Elsevier at . Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 750 KB, PDF document

    Embargo ends: 22/01/21

    Request copy

    Licence: CC BY-NC-ND


View research connections

Related faculties, schools or groups