The influence of schooling on performance in chess and at the Olympics

Forrest, David ORCID: 0000-0003-0565-3396, Tena, JD ORCID: 0000-0001-8281-2886 and Varela-Quintana, Carlos
(2023) The influence of schooling on performance in chess and at the Olympics. Empirical Economics, 64 (2). pp. 959-982.

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<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>At the macro-level, it is hard to test the hypothesis that increased schooling in a country will raise labour productivity but sectoral analyses may be tractable. In sports, output is homogenous in that countries’ achievements are measurable in the same way. We examine country performances at the Chess Olympiad and the Olympic Games, contrasting tournaments where players in the first use only their minds but most in the second supply substantial physical effort or work with costly physical capital. Modelling success in either leads to a set of results familiar from sports literature: country performance depends on economic resources, represented by population size and per capita income. Supplementary variables capture over-performance by communist/ former communist countries. We then introduce a measure of average years of schooling. This significantly reduces the role of income, especially in chess. It also takes power away from the ‘communist’ variables, especially at the Olympics. These results suggest that much of any effect from income is mediated through schooling: investment in education is associated with elevated productivity. Increased productivity is observed in both settings, one a knowledge-intensive sub-sector and the other dependent to a significant extent on either raw physical strength or expensive capital input.</jats:p>

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Education capital, Economic resources, Sports economics, Chess, Olympics
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Management
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2022 08:23
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2023 00:27
DOI: 10.1007/s00181-022-02259-9
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