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Men, Money, And Medals: An Econometric Analysis Of The Olympic Games

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  • Hon‐Kwong Lui
  • Wing Suen

Abstract

Abstract. Population size and the level of income per capita are major determinants of the number of medals won by a country in the 1952–2004 Olympic Games. A parsimonious count (Poisson) model fits the data very well: the squared correlation between the predicted value of the number of medals won and the observed value is about 56%. There exist strong country‐specific effects in Olympic medals results. While the USA and China tend to outperform other countries relative to their size and income, the Asian dragons tend to under‐perform in the Games.

Suggested Citation

  • Hon‐Kwong Lui & Wing Suen, 2008. "Men, Money, And Medals: An Econometric Analysis Of The Olympic Games," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(1), pages 1-16, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:pacecr:v:13:y:2008:i:1:p:1-16
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0106.2007.00386.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rosett, Richard N & Nelson, Forrest D, 1975. "Estimation of the Two-Limit Probit Regression Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 43(1), pages 141-146, January.
    2. repec:ags:stataj:116069 is not listed on IDEAS
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    4. Frank Butter & Casper Tak, 1995. "Olympic medals as an indicator of social welfare," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 27-37, May.
    5. David M. Drukker, 2003. "Testing for serial correlation in linear panel-data models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 3(2), pages 168-177, June.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "The Economics of Superstars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 845-858, December.
    9. Dawn D. Thilmany & Travis J. Lybbert, 2000. "Migration effects of Olympic siting: A pooled time series cross-sectional analysis of host regions," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 34(3), pages 405-420.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Who will win the Olympics?
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2008-08-08 12:05:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Marcus Noland & Kevin Stahler, 2016. "Asian Participation and Performance at the Olympic Games," Asian Economic Policy Review, Japan Center for Economic Research, vol. 11(1), pages 70-90, January.
    2. Forrest, David & Sanz, Ismael & Tena, J.D., 2010. "Forecasting national team medal totals at the Summer Olympic Games," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 576-588, July.
    3. Vagenas, George & Vlachokyriakou, Eleni, 2012. "Olympic medals and demo-economic factors: Novel predictors, the ex-host effect, the exact role of team size, and the “population-GDP” model revisited," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 211-217.
    4. Frank Butter & Casper Tak, 1995. "Olympic medals as an indicator of social welfare," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 27-37, May.
    5. Christian Pierdzioch & Eike Emrich, 2013. "A Note on Corruption and National Olympic Success," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 41(4), pages 405-411, December.
    6. Marcus Noland, 2016. "Russian Doping in Sports," Working Paper Series WP16-4, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    7. Marcus Noland & Kevin Stahler, 2016. "What Goes into a Medal: Women's Inclusion and Success at the Olympic Games," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 97(2), pages 177-196, June.
    8. Henseke, Golo, 2009. "Country performance at the International Mathematical Olympiad," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 108, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.

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