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The Invisible Hand of Thierry Henry

Johan Fourie () and Maria Santana-Gallego
Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Maria Santana Gallego ()

Journal of Sports Economics, 2017, vol. 18, issue 7, 750-766

Abstract: This article highlights an aspect of mega-events that has been neglected: the changing composition of tourist arrivals during and after the event. The change happens because, in the FIFA World Cup, a quota of countries participate from each continent and this opens up new tourism markets. We show that the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa had a smaller growth effect on South Africa’s traditional tourism markets but attracted a large increase from nontraditional ones. However, the size of the effect, we find, is partly due to randomness: It depends on match results in the qualification phase of the tournament. We use a new long-run data set of tourism flows to South Africa and a gravity model for tourism flows and run counterfactual examples of play-off matches during the qualification phase to estimate how much more South Africa could have benefited had larger or richer countries qualified. We conclude that the random results of a few play-off games significantly affect the extent to which the World Cup benefits the host country’s economy.

Keywords: mega-event; tourism; FIFA World Cup; football; soccer; South Africa; gravity model; counterfactual analysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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