Ekström presents at the University of Bergen

16 May 2017 20:58

(updated: 16 May 2017 21:05)

Ekström presents at the University of Bergen

On 18 May, The Choice Lab researcher Mathias Ekström presents the paper "Exercise Improves Academic Performance" at the Department of Economics, University of Bergen.

The paper is joint work with The Choice Lab researchers Alexander W. Cappelen and Bertil Tungodden, along with Gary Charness (University of California Santa Barbara) and Uri Gneezy (University of California San Diego).

Date: Thursday 18 May
Time: 12.45-14.00
Place: Seminar room of the Department of Economics, UiB (room 327)

We use a randomized controlled trial in a novel test of whether regular physical exercise has a positive impact on academic performance. A unique feature of the study is that it has access to high-quality administrative grade data from the university and exercise data from the student gym, which we combine with self-reported baseline and follow-up data as specified in a pre-analysis plan. The main finding of the paper is that providing students with incentives to exercise not only affects exercising, but it also generates a strong and significant improvement in academic performance. The intervention has the largest effect on the group of students that self-reported that they struggled at the baseline. We also discuss suggestive evidence regarding the underlying mechanisms: the intervention improves self-control and causes students to have a healthier life style. Overall, the study demonstrates that stimulating exercise among students can be an important tool for human capital formation.

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