Accounting for Selection in the Academic Impact of High School Sports on White and Black Males

Dara R. Shifrer, University of Texas at Austin
Jennifer Pearson, University of Texas at Austin
Chandra Muller, University of Texas at Austin
Catherine Riegle-Crumb, University of Texas at Austin
Lindsey Wilkinson, Portland State University

Participating in high school sports has been attributed with improving academic achievement and attainment; though black males participate in sports at higher rates than white males, it is unclear whether the positive academic effects are consistent across race. Not only might black males experience sports differently than white males, but they may participate in sports for different reasons. Three nationally representative longitudinal datasets will be employed to examine changes in sports participation rates and in the effect of sports on academic outcomes for black and white males since the 1980s, as well as to explore how selection into sports differentially colors the impact of sports for each group. In general, the sports effect is significantly less positive for black boys in comparison to white boys, and, with the exception of math course-taking in some cases, the sports effect for white boys was explained by controls and/or propensity matching.

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Presented in Poster Session 7