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Mega-events, Local Economies, and Global Status: What Happened before the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai


  • Jian Sun


  • Lin Ye



Mega-events such as the World Cup and the Olympics have been used for economic development, urban transformation and global status enhancement. Beijing and Shanghai embraced these purposes when they won the bids for the 2008 Olympics and the 2010 World Expo respectively. This article examines the pre-event economic changes in Beijing and Shanghai that are associated with their pursuit of mega-events. Changes in a group of economic indicators are tracked from 1997 to 2006. It was found that after winning the bids for the Olympics and the World Expo, Beijing and Shanghai experienced greater growth in construction and tourism, a speeding-up in economic development and restructuring, and an improvement in physical infrastructure. However, the enhancement of global exposure was not accompanied by growth in foreign trade and in the finance, insurance and real estate (FIRE) industries. The empirical analyses place the mega-events in large economic contexts and provide a base for future post-event studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Jian Sun & Lin Ye, 2010. "Mega-events, Local Economies, and Global Status: What Happened before the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai," Journal of Current Chinese Affairs - China aktuell, Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 39(2), pages 133-165.
  • Handle: RePEc:gig:chaktu:v:39:y:2010:i:2:p:133-165

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John Siegfried & Andrew Zimbalist, 2006. "The Economic Impact of Sports Facilities, Teams and Mega-Events," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 39(4), pages 420-427, December.
    2. Allan Cochrane & Jamie Peck & Adam Tickell, 1996. "Manchester Plays Games: Exploring the Local Politics of Globalisation," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 33(8), pages 1319-1336, October.
    3. Matthew J. Burbank & Greg Andranovich & Charles H. Heying, 2002. "Mega-Events, Urban Development, And Public Policy," Review of Policy Research, Policy Studies Organization, vol. 19(3), pages 179-202, September.
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