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Illuminating the World Cup Effect: Night Lights Evidence from South Africa

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  • Wahl, Fabian
  • Pfeifer, Gregor
  • Marczak, Martyna

Abstract

This paper evaluates the economic impact of the $14 billion preparatory investments for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. We use satellite data on night light luminosity at municipality and electoral district level as a proxy for economic development, applying synthetic control methods for estimation. For the average World Cup municipality, we find significantly positive, short-run effects before the tournament, corresponding to a reduction of unemployment by 1.3 percentage points. At the electoral district level, we reveal distinct effect heterogeneity, where especially investments in transport infrastructure are shown to have long-lasting, positive effects, particularly in more rural areas.
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  • Wahl, Fabian & Pfeifer, Gregor & Marczak, Martyna, 2016. "Illuminating the World Cup Effect: Night Lights Evidence from South Africa," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145938, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc16:145938
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    Cited by:

    1. Joshua C. Hall & Josh Matti & Yang Zhou, 2017. "The Economic Impact of City-County Consolidations: A Synthetic Control Approach," Working Papers 17-08, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H54 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Infrastructures
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R42 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government and Private Investment Analysis; Road Maintenance; Transportation Planning
    • Z28 - Other Special Topics - - Sports Economics - - - Policy

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