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Economics and Olympics: An Efficiency Analysis

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  • Alexander Rathke
  • Ulrich Woitek

Abstract

Applying stochastic frontier analysis, we estimate the importance of sports in society as technical efficiency of countries in the production of Olympic success since the 1950s. Our measures of success are medal shares and a broader concept including Olympic diplomas. Following Bernard and Busse (2004), population and GDP are used as inputs. While the impact of GDP is always positive, we show that the sign of the population effect depends on wealth and population size of a country. The results show that the spread of importance is very wide over time, across countries, gender, and sports. These differences can be seen as caused by differences in financial support, training methods, organization, or culture. Using the method proposed by Battese and Coelli (1995), we confirm the result well documented in the literature that planned economies and host countries are more successful than others in terms of Olympic success (e.g. Bernard and Busse, 2004). The method allows to shed light on important aspects of recent sport history, such as the consequences of the breakdown of the former Soviet Union.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander Rathke & Ulrich Woitek, 2007. "Economics and Olympics: An Efficiency Analysis," IEW - Working Papers 313, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:313
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    File URL: http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/wp_iew/iewwp313.pdf
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Who will win the Olympics?
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2008-08-08 12:05:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Afees A. Salisu & Ibrahim D. Raheem, 2017. "Statistical Modelling of Second Round Qualification at FIFA World Cup Tournaments," Working Papers 027, Centre for Econometric and Allied Research, University of Ibadan.
    2. Kavetsos, Georgios & Szymanski, Stefan, 2010. "National well-being and international sports events," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 158-171, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Olympic Games; Efficiency Analysis; Stochastic Frontier;

    JEL classification:

    • J8 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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