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Accounting for Achievement in Athens: A Count Data Analysis of National Olympic Performance

We model summer Olympic medal counts using count data analysis. The advantage of this methodology is its explicit recognition of the discrete non-negative form of the dependent variable; i.e. the total number of medals won by a nation in a summer Olympiad. Using data from the most recent 2004 Summer Games in Athens, Poisson and negative binomial count data regression models are constructed. The chosen model is negative binomial and attaches statistical significance to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita, the age dependency ratio, and a relatively cold climate. In contrast to previous studies, population, health expenditure per capita, and the effect of being a host or neighbour nation of an Olympiad are all insignificant in explaining medal counts. We also find no “cricket effect” or “rugby effect.”

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File URL: http://www.uvic.ca/socialsciences/economics/assets/docs/econometrics/ewp0602.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Victoria in its series Econometrics Working Papers with number 0602.

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Length: 13 pages
Date of creation: 16 Aug 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:vic:vicewp:0602
Note: ISSN 1485-6441
Contact details of provider: Postal: PO Box 1700, STN CSC, Victoria, BC, Canada, V8W 2Y2
Phone: (250)721-6197
Fax: (250)721-6214
Web page: http://web.uvic.ca/econ

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  1. Masters, William A. & McMillan, Margaret S., 2001. "Climate And Scale In Economic Growth," Miscellaneous Papers 11845, Agecon Search.
  2. Andrew B. Bernard & Meghan R. Busse, 2004. "Who Wins the Olympic Games: Economic Resources and Medal Totals," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 413-417, February.
  3. Imad A. Moosa & Lee Smith, 2004. "Economic Development Indicators as Determinants of Medal Winning at the Sydney Olympics: An Extreme Bounds Analysis," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(3), pages 288-301, 09.
  4. Daniel K. N. Johnson & Ayfer Ali, 2004. "A Tale of Two Seasons: Participation and Medal Counts at the Summer and Winter Olympic Games," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 85(4), pages 974-993.
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