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The Impact of the Olympics: Jeffrey Owens

March 27, 2009
Jeffrey Owens
Jeff Owens teaches economics and economic history at Gustavus Adolpus College. His research and publications include work on returns to public investment in stadiums and sporting events. Among the most influential of these works is “Estimating the Cost and Benefit of Hosting Olympic Games: What Can Beijing Expect from its 2008 Games?” in The Industrial Geographer, and “Bread or Circus? The Ethics of Economic Impact Studies.” in Enterprising Worlds: A Geographic Perspective on Economics, Environments & Ethic.



This video is also available on the USCI YouTube Channel.

Click on the play button above to view Jeff Owens’s presentation on the economic impact of the Olympics.

The 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing continued the pattern of escalating investment in sports venues and other infrastructure by host cities. It is commonly believed that mega-events such as the Olympics leave a large and positive economic legacy for host cities, but ex-post studies have found little or no evidence of such impacts. Although the Olympic Games are a catalyst for investment, this investment is largely ill-suited to contribute to long-term economic growth. There are early indications that this will be just as true for the Beijing Games as it has for other recent Olympics.