June 23, 2010
Is productivity taken into account when calculations are made about World Cups and their economic impact?
I’ve just got back to work after spending two stressful hours in the middle of my day watching England qualify for the next stage of the World Cup. By finishing second in the group, England’s quarter final (should they make it that far – Germany beckon in the last 16 unfortunately) will be at 3pm game also.
My wife, at work in central Oxford, knew England had scored because a loud roar went up throughout the entire city centre when England scored, and most people I know of were able to watch the match either at their workplace on a big screen, or were allowed to go elsewhere to watch the match. How many work hours were lost in the UK today?
June 23, 2010
South African President Jacob Zuma is riding the high of the World Cup, and has come out with a public statement that South Africa is capable of hosting the Olympic Games. In this article, it is noted that not only is Durban considered a candidate for the 2020 Olympic Games, IOC President Jacques Rogge says he would support having “a credible African candidate” to host the games. One big question is whether South Africa is really a good candidate for the Summer Games, as this World Cup has proved to be rather cold, and I’m not sure that some of the events will go down very well being held in the South African winter.
While South Africa has posted improved tourist numbers into the country, the question of whether this is providing a big economic boost is debatable. I noticed this opinion piece in the Global Times of China, which had a pretty decent breakdown of the World Cup’s potential economic impact. They noted that the effect of hosting the World Cup will boost the national economy of South Africa by about half a percent. Considering the breakdown of this article and other journalistic pieces which have looked directly to economists to discuss the potential impact of the World Cup, it seems that the games will really do very little for South Africa’s economy. When looking at the massive unemployment rate, the number of social issues, and the high costs of hosting an Olympics, I’m not sure if South Africa is really ready to host the Olympic Games. Hopefully, there will be some more thought and examination of the feasibility of hosting the events in a country where over 50% of the residents live in poverty…