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

Rob Metcalfe, Simon Burgess*, Steven Proud

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
27 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-126
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Public Economics
Volume172
Early online date22 Jan 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

Structured keywords

  • ECON Applied Economics

Keywords

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

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