The Host with the Most? The Effects of the Olympic Games on Happiness

50 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2016

See all articles by Paul Dolan

Paul Dolan

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Georgios Kavetsos

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Christian Krekel

Paris School of Economics (PSE); Centre for Economic Performance (CEP), London School of Economics (LSE); World Bank

Dimitris Mavridis

Paris School of Economics (PSE); The World Bank

Robert Metcalfe

University of Chicago - Becker Friedman Institute for Economics

Claudia Senik

Paris School of Economics (PSE)

Stefan Szymanski

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Nicolas R. Ziebarth

Cornell University

Date Written: August 1, 2016

Abstract

We show that hosting the Olympic Games in 2012 had a positive impact on the life satisfaction and happiness of Londoners during the Games, compared to residents of Paris and Berlin. Notwithstanding issues of causal inference, the magnitude of the effects is equivalent to moving from the bottom to the fourth income decile. But they do not last very long: the effects are gone within a year. These conclusions are based on a novel panel survey of 26,000 individuals who were interviewed during the summers of 2011, 2012, and 2013, i.e. before, during, and after the event. The results are robust to selection into the survey and to the number of medals won.

Keywords: Subjective wellbeing, life satisfaction, happiness, Olympic Games, natural experiment

JEL Classification: I30, I31, I38, L83, Z20, Z28

Suggested Citation

Dolan, Paul and Kavetsos, Georgios and Krekel, Christian and Mavridis, Dimitris and Metcalfe, Robert and Senik, Claudia and Szymanski, Stefan and Ziebarth, Nicolas R., The Host with the Most? The Effects of the Olympic Games on Happiness (August 1, 2016). DIW Berlin Discussion Paper No. 1599. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2818834 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2818834

Paul Dolan

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

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Georgios Kavetsos (Contact Author)

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

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Christian Krekel

Paris School of Economics (PSE)

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

HOME PAGE: http://www.parisschoolofeconomics.eu/en/

Centre for Economic Performance (CEP), London School of Economics (LSE)

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/

World Bank

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.worldbank.org/

Dimitris Mavridis

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

The World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States
2024734750 (Phone)

Robert Metcalfe

University of Chicago - Becker Friedman Institute for Economics ( email )

Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Claudia Senik

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

Stefan Szymanski

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor ( email )

500 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

Nicolas R. Ziebarth

Cornell University ( email )

Ithaca, NY
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.human.cornell.edu/bio.cfm?netid=nrz2

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