Quantifying the Intangible Impact of the Olympics Using Subjective Well-Being Data

56 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2019

See all articles by Paul Dolan

Paul Dolan

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Georgios Kavetsos

Queen Mary University of London

Christian Krekel

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

Dimitris Mavridis

Paris School of Economics (PSE); The World Bank

Renuka Metcalfe

University of Wales, Swansea

Claudia Senik

National Center for Scientific Research - Department and Laboratory of Applied and Theoretical Economics (DELTA); Universite Paris IV Sorbonne; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Stefan Szymanski

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Nicolas R. Ziebarth

Cornell University

Abstract

Hosting the Olympic Games costs billions of taxpayer dollars. Following a quasi-experimental setting, this paper assesses the intangible impact of the London 2012 Olympics, using a novel panel of 26,000 residents in London, Paris, and Berlin during the summers of 2011, 2012, and 2013. We show that hosting the Olympics increases subjective well-being of the host city's residents during the event, particularly around the times of the opening and closing ceremonies. However, we do not find much evidence for legacy effects. Estimating residents' implicit willingness-to-pay for the event, we do not find that it was worth it for London alone, but a modest wellbeing impact on the rest of the country would make hosting worth the costs.

Keywords: subjective well-being, life satisfaction, happiness, intangible effects, Olympic Games, sport events, quasi-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, Renuka and Senik, Claudia and Szymanski, Stefan and Ziebarth, Nicolas R., Quantifying the Intangible Impact of the Olympics Using Subjective Well-Being Data. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12547. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3445813

Paul Dolan (Contact Author)

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

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Georgios Kavetsos

Queen Mary University of London ( email )

Mile End Rd
Mile End Road
London, London E1 4NS
United Kingdom

Christian Krekel

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

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)

Renuka Metcalfe

University of Wales, Swansea ( email )

Singleton Park
Swansea, Wales SA2 8PP
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.swan.ac.uk/welmerc/renukametcalfe.htm

Claudia Senik

National Center for Scientific Research - Department and Laboratory of Applied and Theoretical Economics (DELTA) ( email )

ENS, 48, bd Jourdan
75014 Paris
France
+33 1 4313 6312 (Phone)

Universite Paris IV Sorbonne

Department of Economics
75230 Paris Cedex 05
France
01 43 13 63 12 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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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