Olympic participation and performance since 1896
Gerard Kuper () and
Elmer Sterken ()
No 03C19, Research Report from University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management)
We analyze the decision to participate and performance at the Modern Olympic Summer Games at the country level. We use an unbalanced panel of 118 countries over all 24 editions of the Summer Games since 1896. The main focus of the paper is on economic, geographic and demographic determinants of Olympic participation and success. We estimate the impact of income per capita, population size, home advantage, and some fixed country factors on participation and success rates. We present separate results for events before and after the Second World War. These results indicate that income is an important determinant of Olympic participation and success. Socialist countries send more athletes to the games and have more success in medal counts. The home advantage has become less prominent.
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