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How the ‘Hand of Henry’ Benefited the South African Economy


  • Johan Fourie and María Santana-Gallego


This paper highlights an aspect of mega-events that has been neglected: the changing composition of tourist arrivals during and after theevent. The change happens because, in the FIFA World Cup, a quota of countries participates from each continent and this opens up new tourismmarkets. We show that the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa had a smaller growth effect on South Africa’s traditional tourism markets butattracted a large increase from non-traditional ones. However, the size of the effect, we find, is partly due to randomness: it depends on matchresults in the qualification phase of the tournament. We use a new longrun dataset of tourism flows to South Africa and a gravity model fortourism flows and run counterfactual examples of play-off matches during the qualification phase to estimate how much more South Africa couldhave benefited had larger or richer countries qualified. We conclude that the random results of a few play-off games significantly affect the extentto which the World Cup benefits the host country’s economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Johan Fourie and María Santana-Gallego, 2015. "How the ‘Hand of Henry’ Benefited the South African Economy," Working Papers 508, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  • Handle: RePEc:rza:wpaper:508

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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. How this man added more than 6000 jobs to the South African economy. With his left hand.
      by Johan Fourie in Johan Fourie's Blog on 2015-04-24 23:57:54


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Robert Baumann & Victor Matheson, 2015. "Many Happy Returns? The Pro-Bowl, Mega-events, and Tourism in Hawaii," Working Papers 1501, International Association of Sports Economists;North American Association of Sports Economists.

    More about this item


    mega-event; tourism; FIFA World Cup; football; soccer; South Africa; gravity model; counterfactual analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • C8 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs
    • N3 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy
    • N4 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation

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