Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Olympic Games have no long-term impact on employment

Is it worth holding mega-event like Olympic Games? Repeatedly, they turn into a financial fiasco, yet new organizers keep believing they can pull it off. Usually, they manage to obtain some public guarantees or even financing on the grounds that such an event and the infrastructure will kick-start an economy and encourage tourism beyond the event.

Arne Feddersen and Wolfgang Maennig show that these beliefs are wrong, at least for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. They concentrate on the impact of these games on employment, and using monthly data they cannot find any impact in any sector, except for the sectors directly affected by the event, and only for the duration of the Games: retail trade, accommodation and food services, arts, entertainment, and recreation. How disappointing. I can only reiterate that such events should find a permanent home.

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