Exploring spillovers between government quality and individual health production through sport and physical activity

2016-10-21T09:26:27Z (GMT) by Pamela Wicker Paul M. Downward
Research question: The purpose of this study is to examine whether and how government quality is related to individual health production through sport and physical activity. Previous research has only examined the role of government through the lens of government spending and provision of facilities, but not the role of government quality per se. Research methods: Individual survey data from the 2013 Eurobarometer (n=20,419) were combined with data on government quality and expenditure as well as GDP for 21 European countries. The sport and physical activity measures reflect whether an individual’s activity level (including or excluding walking) is below the guidelines of the World Health Organization, meets, or exceeds them, securing extra health benefits. Results and findings: The results of multi-level models show that government quality is significantly and positively associated with individual sport and physical activity meeting or exceeding the guidelines, controlling for GDP and government spending. The empirical evidence suggests that there are spillovers between government quality and individual health production through sport and physical activity. Implications: The findings indicate that a more open and accountable government can provide the regulatory framework and tolerance required for more effective structural delivery of sport and physical activity in society.