When Sports Help Economies Score

The new issue of FInance&Development looks at the impact of sporting events on economic activity – the link is here.

11 replies on “When Sports Help Economies Score”

Sport is part of bread and circuses thereby diverting the animalistic tendencies of young males into less violent and economically damaging activities. It also promotes some physical health although steroid use etc is increasing.

It also helps to direct national loyalties and supposedly divert from war, but the evidence on that is thin. The USA is sports mad but the sports do not engage teams from other countries at all. Hence they are free to use radioactive uranium and cluster bombs and mines as they please! How many wars are they engaged in now? How many countries do not have an armed US base therein?

Tourism is dropping off so the competition to bribe for the Olympics and FIFA is declining. Oh Woe!

The article author appears to mistake security costs as a loss for the idea of bidding on the Olympics!!!!!

One of the great spinoffs of the War on Terror is the employment of so many as airport attendants, neglecting the bomb in the trains idea, that went down so well in Madrid and Bombay.

Not an economist then!

That’s why the Colombians gave up the right to host the 1986 World Cup…they got into GATT in 1981 and probably thought what’s the point!

Hosting the Olympics creates huge positive externalities for any economy, sure aren’t the Greeks flying since Athens ’04??

@Philip Lane

Enjoyed the piece on Cricket – 30% on the bat % 15% on the bowl – the dismal science is coming on (-; if, imho, still a ways to go.

Think we now have a case to host either the Twenty20 or the One_Day Cricket World Cups on the Island of Ireland – and we are in with a reasonable probability of winning one of them.


The end of expansionary fiscal contraction is nigh …

The Munster & Leinster Rugby Supporters Clubs are organising, and fully determined to reverse the present policy on ‘expansionary fiscal contraction’ which is denying them their basic rights to a pint as European Heineken Cup winners and will be assembling, all 100,000 fully togged out and rarin to go at a time in the near future in Dublin. The Ulster and Connaught Supporters Clubs, all 100,000 of them, will be arriving in sympathy, also fully togged out. International brigades from England, Scotland, Wales and Italy are also flying in, as are the Ozzies, the All Blacks, the Americans, and the Argentinians, and a sprinkling of others. As the Bull put it to Drico – “Who do these eegits of fools think we are … Blind Biddy could run the country better than this shower – gimme that ball dere Drico and I’ll go on a bit of a run – this lot can’t handle de ball” … and the New York Times, headlined The Irish Bull Explodes, are predicting that he will take it all the way.

There is a large literature on the economics of sports events. My reading of the literature suggests that:
1. the net impact of a large event tends to be negative particularly if lots of new facilities need to be built (of course if the facilities are subsequently intesively used the long-term impact might be positive).
2. ex-ante (before the event) net-benefits are often overstated.


Thomond Park (& Musgrave Park) & Munster Rugby would make for a good case study. Estimates (not sure where from) of €10 million to local economy for high profile Heineken Cup and Celtic/Magner League games – much of it ‘hospitality’ – hence the posts above.

On point-1: I will not mention Greece – many facilities run-down/un-used ……… they over-stretched.

Other bubble waiting to burst is the English Premier League – massive over-leveraging ………. and links to TV/Media ….. and Global Gambling ………. so serious economics.

Sports are popular and therefore tend to be used to justify malinvestments that result in OPM being used to excess, some of which always seems to end up in the pockets of politicos including members of games organizers who allocate venues. All part of life’s rich tapestry. Sports are also abused by politicians who depend upon popular votes for office.

I confidently predict that they will continue.

But for once I will concede that economists might have their uses. Surely Colm McCuts could get onto some of the quangoes dealing with sports?

I will not be responsible for the hilarity if Australia ever wins the bid for the winter games. Our winter is your summer for a start!


De Pint may be served in Limerick on Good Friday – 6.00pm to 11.30pm – Leinster supporters welcome …. (-; Sarkozy claims credit for averting the crisis …. The Bull given the night off to enjoy a well_earned few pints …

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