The Relevance of the Specification Assumptions when Modelling the Correlates of Physical Activity: an Analysis across Dimensions


There is a widespread economics literature on the determinants of sports participation and frequency, but the empirical evidence on the robustness of results to changes in the specification assumptions is still scarce. The goal of this paper is to contribute to fill this gap. To this end, we discuss and estimate different models – most of them previously applied in the literature – to check whether the econometric model, the functional form and the definition of physical activity (participation, time, frequency or intensity) condition the results. In particular, we study the probability of exercising, the frequency of participation in the previous week (days of practice), the number of minutes allocated and the intensity of exercise, with different econometric models and functional forms, using a data set from Mexico, where information about these four dimensions of practice of physical activity is available.