Causes and Consequences of Racial Disparities in Swimming
Ana Cuesta, University of Minnesota
Samuel Myers Jr, University of Minnesota
This paper is the first to provide evidence of an inverse relationship between competitive swimming rates and drowning rates using Centers for Disease Control (CDC) data on fatal drowning rates and membership rates from USA Swimming, the governing organization of competitive swimming in the United States. Tobit and Poisson regression models are estimated using panel data by state from 1999-2007 separately for males, females, African Americans and whites. The strong inverse relationship between competitive swimming rates and unintentional deaths through fatal drowning is most pronounced among African Americans males. The lifeguard labor market is also modeled using data form the Current Population Survey (CPS) and reinforces the idea of the negative relation between competitive swimming and drowning rates, as well as the racial disparities in competitive swimming.