The Impact of Economic Growth on the Competitiveness of National Elite Sport Systems
India is the extreme under-achiever in international sport competitions. This has only marginally changed with the recent promotion of the Indian economy into the league of BRIC nations. Whereas in China high growth rates have been accompanied by a huge improvement of its performance in international sport events a similar impact of extraordinary growth rates has been almost totally absent in the case of India. Is India an exception? Several econometric studies have shown that income per capita is a significant variable explaining elite sport results such as results in the Olympic Games. From this stylized fact follows the hypothesis that 'above/below average' growth rates lead to relative improvements/deterioration of elite sport results (with a time lag)’. This paper tests the hypothesis by means of a study of the correlation between growth in GNP per capita and growth in medal points in the sports of the Olympic Summer Games. The findings show only a very weak correlation, if any at all. However, a detailed analysis of country evidence shows interesting trends and details. The paper concludes with tentative explanations for the findings including the contradictory country evidence.
Birkbeck Sport Business Centre Research Papers, 2013, Vol 6, Issue 1
Elite sport systems; Economic growth; Competitiveness; Olympic Games; National differences