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The Contest for Olympic Succes as a Public Good

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  • L.F.M. Groot

Abstract

This study considers the performance of countries at the Olympic Games as a public good. Firstly, it is argued that, at the national level, Olympic success meets the two key conditions of a public good: non-rivalry and non-excludability. Secondly, it is demonstrated that standard income inequality measures, such as the Lorenz curve and the Gini index, can be successfully applied to the distribution of Olympic success. The actual distribution of Olympic success is compared with alternative hypothetical distributions, among which according to population shares, the distribution favoured by a social planner and the noncooperating Nash- Cournot distribution. By way of conclusion, a device is proposed to make the distribution of Olympic success more equitable.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Utrecht School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 08-34.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:use:tkiwps:0834

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Keywords: Olympic Games; public goods; externalities; social welfare; Nash;

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  1. Mark Baimbridge, 1998. "Outcome uncertainty in sporting competition: the Olympic Games 1896-1996," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(3), pages 161-164.
  2. Arne Feddersen & Wolfgang Maennig & Philipp Zimmermann, 2007. "How to Win the Olympic Games – The Empirics of Key Success Factors of Olympic Bids," Working Papers 0705, International Association of Sports Economists & North American Association of Sports Economists.
  3. Daniel K. N. Johnson & Ayfer Ali, 2004. "A Tale of Two Seasons: Participation and Medal Counts at the Summer and Winter Olympic Games," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 85(4), pages 974-993.
  4. Congleton, Roger D., 1984. "Committees and rent-seeking effort," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 197-209, November.
  5. Andrew B. Bernard & Meghan R. Busse, 2004. "Who Wins the Olympic Games: Economic Resources and Medal Totals," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 413-417, February.
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