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National Well-being And International Sports Events

Georgios Kavetsos, S. Szymanski
Published 2010 · Psychology

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The widely proclaimed economic benefits of hosting major sporting events have received substantial criticism by academic economists and have been shown to be negligible, at best. The aim of this paper is to formally examine the existence of another potential impact: national well-being or the so-called “feelgood” factor. Using data on self-reported life satisfaction for twelve European countries we test for the impact of hosting and of national athletic success on happiness. Our data covers three different major events: the Olympic Games, the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA European Championship. We find that the “feelgood” factor associated with hosting football events is large and significant, but that the impact of national athletic success on happiness, while correctly signed, is statistically insignificant.
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