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ECONOMIC FREEDOM, SPORT POLICY, AND INDIVIDUAL PARTICIPATION IN PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: AN INTERNATIONAL COMPARISON

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Abstract

Many countries promote participation in physical activity among its citizens. We undertake an international comparative analysis of participation using data from 34 countries in the 2007 International Social Survey Programme Leisure Time and Sports module, augmented with country-specific characteristics capturing economic freedom and national sport policy. Gross domestic product per capita and economic freedom are associated with higher physical activity participation; past success of the national team in the Olympics is associated with lower participation, but hosting sports mega-events is associated with higher participation. Our findings indicate that participation in sport and physical activity falls with age and rises with education and income. (JEL H59, I12, I18, J22, L83)

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