How big is home advantage at the Olympic Games?

Forthcoming chapter in: H. A. Solberg, R. Storm & K. Swart (Eds.), Research Handbook on Major Sporting Events

21 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2021 Last revised: 11 Aug 2021

See all articles by Carl Singleton

Carl Singleton

Department of Economics, University of Reading

James Reade

University of Reading

Johan Rewilak

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Dominik Schreyer

WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management

Date Written: July 23, 2021

Abstract

We revisit the magnitude of home advantage at the Summer and Winter Olympic Games, looking back all the way to Athens in 1896. By comparing a host country’s success with their performances in previous and subsequent games, we find that home advantage has declined over time as participation and the diversity of competition have increased. Hosts of the Summer Olympics between 1988 and 2016 enjoyed a two-percentage-point boost in their shares of medals and finalists, compared with their performances overseas, in both men's and women's events. In this same contemporary period, the home advantage effect at the Winter Olympics was around fifty percent larger in men's events but non-existent in women's events. We also find evidence of significant performance spill overs on the previous and next Olympiads for countries when they hosted the Summer Games.

Keywords: Attendance, Gender economics, Home bias, Major sport events, Olympic Games, Referee bias, Sports economics

JEL Classification: D91, L83, Z2

Suggested Citation

Singleton, Carl and Reade, James and Rewilak, Johan and Schreyer, Dominik, How big is home advantage at the Olympic Games? (July 23, 2021). Forthcoming chapter in: H. A. Solberg, R. Storm & K. Swart (Eds.), Research Handbook on Major Sporting Events, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3888639 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3888639

Carl Singleton (Contact Author)

Department of Economics, University of Reading ( email )

Whiteknights
Reading, Berkshire RG6 6AH
United Kingdom

James Reade

University of Reading

Johan Rewilak

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Dominik Schreyer

WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management ( email )

Burgplatz 2
Vallendar, 56179
Germany

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