Is soccer good for you?

Doerrenberg and Siegloch say maybe so, especially if you are unemployed:

We examine the effect of salient international soccer tournaments on the motivation of unemployed individuals to search for employment using the German Socio Economic Panel 1984–2010. Exploiting the random scheduling of survey interviews, we find significant effects on motivational variables such as the intention to work or the reservation wage. Furthermore, the sporting events increase perceived health as well as worries about the general economic situation.

An ungated version is here, and the pointer is via Kevin Lewis.


I note that the survey was done in Germany whose national team does rather well at International soccer Tournament.

As a long-suffering supporter of the England national soccer team (who generally under perform) I wonder if the results would be reversed if the survey was carried out in the UK ?

I thought it was futbol or futebol, not soccer.

As for the survey, it is too marginal to be reliable. Another survey found that frequent sex correlates with being unemployed. Fun stats but meaningless.

Fußball, for the Germanic minded.

Fans of successful teams win their bets and put off going to work for awhile longer. If there were no betting nobody would pay any attention to football.

How do they increase both "perceived health" & "worries" about the economy? That sounded counter intuitive.

"My problems are deeper but I'm able to deal with them better"
- Ethan Hawke in Before Sunset

Being British, I assumed that the headline referred to playing soccer. I should have realised that for Americans it would automatically mean sitting on your arses watching soccer.

In "Getting Ahead Collectively: Grassroots Experiences in Latin America" (1984), Hirschman has a digression on "the effect of sport on social change." He writes that "the naive left-wing, somewhat conspiratorial view has long been that sport serves to 'catch' all kinds of collective energies and emotions which, differently channeled, would have served to redress any number of social injustices. Yet again, the evidence we have gathered points in the opposite direction: a number of our most activist 'social promoters' have stressed the importance of sport (soccer) in their life experiences. In the small towns of Colombia, for example, to play soccer on weekends means a decision not to spend all one's time hanging out at the local bar.... For many youngsters growing up in the countryside, playing soccer is a means of breaking out of the isolation of family and rural life, of losing one's timidity and of becoming part of a wider community."

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