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Outcome uncertainty in sporting competition: the Olympic Games 1896-1996

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  • Mark Baimbridge

Abstract

This paper examines uncertainty of outcome within the context of international sporting competition through analysing the ratio of medal winning to participating nations for the history of the Summer Olympics. A deficiency within the economics of professional team sports literature concerns the investigation into the determinants of uncertainty per se, although it has prominently featured as an explanatory factor in demand studies. Additionally, previous research on the Olympics has primarily focused upon ';success' in terms of medals won or event placings. An analysis of outcome uncertainty is poignant to the Olympics given the degree of national prestige frequently placed upon success together with the policy debate in relation to their increasing scope. The relationship examined between Olympic uncertainty and a series of hypothesized factors indicates that significant determinants include the level of participation in each Olympiad, Communist-let boycotts and their overall trend.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apeclt:v:5:y:1998:i:3:p:161-164
    DOI: 10.1080/758521374
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    Cited by:

    1. Loek Groot, 2012. "The Contest for Olympic Success as a Public Good," Journal of Income Distribution, Journal of Income Distribution, vol. 21(1), pages 102-117, March.
    2. Schreyer, Dominik & Schmidt, Sascha L. & Torgler, Benno, 2016. "Against all odds? Exploring the role of game outcome uncertainty in season ticket holders’ stadium attendance demand," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 192-217.
    3. Charlotte Van Tuyckom & Karl Jöreskog, 2012. "C. Van Tuyckom, & K. Jöreskog, “Going for gold! Welfare characteristics and Olympic success: an application of the structural equation approach.” Quality & Quantity (in press)," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 46(1), pages 189-205, January.
    4. 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.
    5. L.F.M. Groot, 2007. "The welfare optimal distribution of Olympic Success considered as a public good," Working Papers 07-13, Utrecht School of Economics.
    6. Eike Emrich & Markus Klein & Werner Pitsch & Christian Pierdzioch, 2012. "On the determinants of sporting success – A note on the Olympic Games," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(3), pages 1890-1901.

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