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Who Wins the Olympic Games: Economic Development and Medal Totals

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  • Andrew B. Bernard
  • Meghan R. Busse

Abstract

This paper examines determinants of Olympic success at the country level. Does the U.S. win its fair share of Olympic medals? Why does China win 6% of the medals even though it has 1/5 of the world's population? We consider the role of population and economic development in determining medal totals from 1960-1996. We also provide out of sample predictions for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew B. Bernard & Meghan R. Busse, 2000. "Who Wins the Olympic Games: Economic Development and Medal Totals," NBER Working Papers 7998, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7998
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Shughart, William F, II & Tollison, Robert D, 1993. "Going for the Gold: Property Rights and Athletic Effort in Transitional Economies," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 263-272.
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    Cited by:

    1. Du Bois, Cindy & Heyndels, Bruno, 2012. "Revealed comparative advantage and specialisation in athletics," Edition HWWI: Chapters,in: Zur ├ľkonomik von Spitzenleistungen im internationalen Sport, pages 25-47 Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
    2. Hongbin Li & Lingsheng Meng & Qian Wang, 2009. "The government's role in China's Olympic glory," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(25), pages 3313-3318.
    3. Ferda Halicioglu, 2005. "Can We Predict The Outcome Of The International Football Tournaments : The Case Of Euro 2000?," Microeconomics 0503008, EconWPA.
    4. Michael W. Klein, 2002. "Work and Play: International Evidence of Gender Equality in Employment and Sports," NBER Working Papers 9081, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Robert Hoffmann & Lee Chew Ging & Bala Ramasamy, 2002. "The Socio-Economic Determinants of International Soccer Performance," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 5, pages 253-272, November.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism

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