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

Robert Metcalfe (), Simon Burgess () and Steven Proud ()

Journal of Public Economics, 2019, vol. 172, issue C, 111-126

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.

Keywords: Educational achievement; Student effort; Schools; Value of leisure (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I20 J24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2018.12.006

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