Sports and Child Development

 (2016) PLoS ONE 11(5): e0151729 (with L. Lechner and A. Steinmayr)

The role of curricular activities for the formation of education, health and behavioural outcomes
has been widely studied. Yet, the role of extra-curricular activities has received little
attention. This study analyzes the effect of participation in sports clubs—one of the most
popular extra-curricular activities among children. We use alternative datasets and flexible
semi-parametric estimation methods with a specific way to use the panel dimension of the
data to address selection into sports. We find positive and robust effects on children’s
school performance and peer relations. Crowding out of passive leisure activities can partially
explain the effects.