Thursday, September 04, 2008

Olympic medals

Reams have been written about the stellar performance of countries such as China and the US at the Beijing Olympics and the lacklustre performance of others, including India. Economist Gary Becker highlights the determinants of Olympic success in his blog, based on a journal paper:

The article "A Tale of Two Seasons: Participation and Medal Counts at the Summer and Winter Olympic Games", published in 2004 in the Social Science Quarterly by Professor Daniel Johnson of Colorado College and a co-author, examines the determinants of how many medals were won by different countries in the summer and winter Olympics since the end of World War II. Their regression analysis shows that two very important variables are the total population and per capita incomes of different countries. Also important are whether a country has an authoritarian government-such as communism- a country's climate, and whether a country is the host country for a particular Olympics. These five variables taken together predict closely the total number of medals won by different countries in the winter as well as summer Games.

1 comment:

Siladitya said...

sounds interesting.....is there any theory to expalin why poor African countries do exceptionally well in Athletics?