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Institut für Betriebswirtschaftslehre Services & Operations Management

Economics of Sports Participation & Health

Corona Virus Update

The course will be offered online. Jane Ruseski will contact all the students with the necessary instructions and link to the online sessions.


The Center for Research in Sports Administration (CRSA) in cooperation with the ETHZ and USI regularly invites guest lecturers as part of the Swiss Doctoral Program for Research in Sports for Behavioral and Social Sciences.

Important - Application (Deadline February 28, 2020)

Dates & Times

Thursday April 2, 2020 - Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Morning and afternoon sessions, 90 minutes each

Course catalog

About this course:

Syllabus (PDF, 131 KB) (reading list subject to change)

This course studies the individual and social determinants of sport participation and its effect on health and other outcomes through the lens of economics. The course will begin with an overview of the policy context surrounding sport participation, physical activity and health. It will progress to evaluate economic models and statistical analyses of individual decisions about sports participation and synthesize
the influence of macro-economic and community-level factors such as GDP, economic freedom and government spending on decisions about participation in sport and physical activity. Next, the course will evaluate economic models and statistical analyses of the effect of sport participation and physical activity on physical and mental/psychological health hand other economic outcomes. The course will conclude with an analysis and critique of methods and estimates of the economic costs of physical inactivity and the benefits of physical activity.



Essay between 2,000 - 3,000 words on topics covered in the course


About the Lecturer:

Dr. Ruseski is an Associate Professor of Economics. She is an applied microeconomist with specializations in health economics, health financing and policy, sports economics, and industrial organization. Her current research studies the socioeconomic determinants of health and (un)healthy behaviors; the effect of health behaviors on outcomes, including chronic health conditions, obesity, and health disparities; and the mechanisms underlying health behaviors. A central theme in this research is improving understanding of how and why individuals make decisions that affect their health. The overarching goal of this research is to inform the policy environment in an effort to design policies and interventions that will promote health behaviors and reduce the burden of disease. Some current research projects study the longitudinal effects of participation in physical activity on health; the role of present bias and habit formation on physical activity; maternal smoking in Appalachia; determinants of drug abuse in West Virginia; the effect of public subsidies for professional sports facilities on infant health; the effect of Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) investments on health outcomes; economic freedom, physical activity and health disparities; adolescent steroid use and intercollegiate athletic incentives; and the role of the built environment on physical activity and health. Dr. Ruseski has published in academic journals including Contemporary Economic Policy, Health Economics, Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, Southern Economic Journal, BE Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, and Journal of Sports Economics. She is a co-editor of Contemporary Economic Policy and an associate editor of the International Journal of Sport Finance.


Credits: 3 ECTS
Assistant at Chair UZH: Anil Özdemir
Assistant at Chair ETHZ: Surabhi Pasarakonda  

Weiterführende Informationen

Contact & Location

University of Zurich
Department of Business Administration
Chair of Services & Operations Management 
Plattenstrasse 14
CH-8032 Zurich
Phone:   +41 (0)44 634 53 11 
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