Publication, December 2017
The Bidding Paradox: Why politicians Favor Hosting Mega Sports Events Despite the Bleak Economic Prospects
Abstract:Politicians generally favor hosting mega sports events despite the discouraging evidence of financial benefits or direct economic gain. This paradox is surveyed from two different perspectives. First, we weighed the merits of the most prominent methods of economic analysis of mega sports events. Then, we discuss the ways in which politicians still manage to infer positive gains from hosting this type of event from the literature. Next, we look at a range of frequently intangible effects that could be used in the public debate before submitting a bid but that, paradoxically, rarely are. The most promising of these is making the people proud and happy. However, economists have so far been incapable of adequately valuing the effect of hosting a mega sport event based on happiness. Second, we analyzed the political process parallel to preparing a bid to understand why politicians are persistently keen to host, despite the bleak economic prospects.