Revealed Comparative Advantage and Specialization in Athletics
Using entries in the 2005 IAAF rankings as a measure of a country’s success in athletics, we analyse intercountry differences in athletic specialisation (measured through an index for revealed symmetric comparative advantage). A Tobit II model identifies macro-economic, sociological and political conditions that shape patterns of specialisation. We observe geographical patterns: African and Carribean (and to a lesser extent Asian) countries have a ‘typical’ pattern of specialisation. Highly populated as well as richer countries diversify more. Larger countries specialise in sprinting and middle distance running while leading to comparative disadvantages in non-running events. Finally, (former) socialist countries have a significant revealed comparative advantage in non-running events and a disadvantage in sprinting.
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- Heather Mitchell & Mark Stewart, 2007. "A competitive index for international sport," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(5), pages 587-603.
- Lins, Marcos P. Estellita & Gomes, Eliane G. & Soares de Mello, Joao Carlos C. B. & Soares de Mello, Adelino Jose R., 2003. "Olympic ranking based on a zero sum gains DEA model," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 148(2), pages 312-322, July.
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