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Is it the economy, stupid? The role of social versus economic factors in people’s support for hosting the Olympic Games: evidence from 12 democratic countries

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  • Tobias Streicher
  • Sascha L. Schmidt
  • Dominik Schreyer
  • Benno Torgler

Abstract

Public referenda have gained momentum as a democratic tool to legitimize public mega projects such as hosting the Olympic Games. Interest groups in favour of hosting the Olympics therefore try to influence voters through public campaigns that primarily focus on economic benefits. However, recent studies find no or hardly any economic impact of hosting the Olympics, instead providing evidence for a positive social impact. This raises the question whether citizens consider economic or social factors when deciding on hosting the Olympics. Based on representative survey data from 12 countries, our results suggest that economic factors can influence voting behaviour, although the influence of social factors is stronger.

Suggested Citation

  • Tobias Streicher & Sascha L. Schmidt & Dominik Schreyer & Benno Torgler, 2017. "Is it the economy, stupid? The role of social versus economic factors in people’s support for hosting the Olympic Games: evidence from 12 democratic countries," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(3), pages 170-174, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apeclt:v:24:y:2017:i:3:p:170-174
    DOI: 10.1080/13504851.2016.1173175
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bruno Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2010. "Happiness and public choice," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 144(3), pages 557-573, September.
    2. Michael Josef Lamla & Martin Straub & Esther Mirjam Girsberger, 2014. "On the economic impact of international sport events: microevidence from survey data at the EURO 2008," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(15), pages 1693-1703, May.
    3. Casella, Alessandra & Gelman, Andrew, 2008. "A simple scheme to improve the efficiency of referenda," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 2240-2261, October.
    4. Wolfgang Maennig & Andrew Zimbalist (ed.), 2012. "International Handbook on the Economics of Mega Sporting Events," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 14313, July.
    5. Heather Mitchell & Mark Fergusson Stewart, 2015. "What should you pay to host a party? An economic analysis of hosting sports mega-events," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(15), pages 1550-1561, March.
    6. Corinne Sullivan & Michael A. Leeds, 2016. "Will the games pay? An event analysis of the 2020 summer Olympics announcement on stock markets in Japan, Spain, and Turkey," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(12), pages 880-883, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Streicher, Tobias & Schmidt, Sascha L. & Schreyer, Dominik & Torgler, Benno, 2020. "Anticipated feelings and support for public mega projects: Hosting the Olympic Games," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 158(C).

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