The economic sense and nonsense of the FIFA World Cup

Thomas Peeters, assistant professor at Erasmus School of Economics

Big sporting events are increasingly being held in non-Western countries. Such big sporting events, such as the FIFA World Cup, offer an ideal opportunity for emerging countries to draw attention to themselves. Nevertheless, there is not much to win for these countries.

Dr. Thomas Peeters, sports economist at Erasmus School of Economics, says that such emerging countries need better international PR. As a result, their politicians are motivated to lobby for hosting big sporting events, as this could improve their reputation. In many emerging countries, there is room to make useful investments. But, there is always an 'overkill'. The country then ends up with stadiums which are only used a few times and are completely useless afterwards. According to Dr. Peeters, the only measurable economic effect of a sporting event is the associated increase in tourism, as we know that with tourism the money comes from outside the country.

More information

Read the entire article (only in Dutch) on De Tijd of 26 June, 2018.