National Well-Being and International Sports Events

Posted: 10 Jun 2012

See all articles by Georgios Kavetsos

Georgios Kavetsos

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Stefan Szymanski

Imperial College London - Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

The widely proclaimed economic benefits of hosting major sporting events have received substantial criticism by academic economists and have been shown to be negligible, at best. The aim of this paper is to formally examine the existence of another potential impact: national well-being or the so-called “feelgood” factor. Using data on self-reported life satisfaction for twelve European countries we test for the impact of hosting and of national athletic success on happiness. Our data covers three different major events: the Olympic Games, the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA European Championship. We find that the “feelgood” factor associated with hosting football events is large and significant, but that the impact of national athletic success on happiness, while correctly signed, is statistically insignificant.

Keywords: Life satisfaction, Happiness, Feelgood factor, Sporting events, Economic impact

JEL Classification: D60, I31

Suggested Citation

Kavetsos, Georgios and Szymanski, Stefan, National Well-Being and International Sports Events (2010). Journal of Economic Psychology, Vol. 31, No. 2, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2080407

Georgios Kavetsos (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Stefan Szymanski

Imperial College London - Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine ( email )

Exhibition Road
London, SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom
+44 20 7594 9107 (Phone)
+44 20 7823 7685 (Fax)

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