impact of Mega-sporting Events”,London Olympics

So I am requiring a dissertation doing but I have already carried out the first section, all this may need editing to match with the process you carry out. The sections I have already carried out are the definition of topic. The development of theoretical framework, the empirical/ contextual literature review, and the data method to be used.  However these sections need editing and adding to in dissertation which I have included in the page count of 16 pages.

I will detail the individual sections in which.

General focus/motivation and research questions- This needs expanding from my 250 words to around 1250 words. The limit is 1500 on this section

Theoretical framework literature review- This may need edition from my existing words to suit your style but not adding to as the word limit on this section is 1500

Empirical contextual literature review- does also need to expanding as it has a word limit of 1500 but may need editing to suit the further literature you may use. The limit on this section is also 1500.

The research methoodly/approach and data collection needs expanding from the 250 words to between 500-750.

Chapter structure doesn’t need expanding to more than 100 words but will need editing to suit your writing.

The analysis and writing up needs doing which is between 1500-2000 words which is relation to the data you collect.

And the conclusion/implications/limitation/further research needs doing which is to consist of no more than 1000 words.

Please see below some of the information I already have. Any confusing please let me know.




(i)         Definition of the topic through a summary of the general focus / motivation of dissertation that should demonstrate a coherent economics based approach to the chosen topic. The research question(s) to be investigated should also be clearly explained in this section. [approximately 300 words]

With the recent hosting of the London Olympics, and the speculation surrounding its costs and benefits, such a mega event may bring, or not as some sceptics argue. I see it only seems fit as to carry out a cost benefit analysis in order to come to a conclusion weather a large scale investment of this nature would be beneficial for any future countries wishing to taken on a financial burden of this nature. The motivation behind the choice of a cost benefit analysis is that this allows me to not only measure the implications of costs and benefits in monetary terms, it allows me to take into consideration non-monetary costs and benefits, which is key for any government making this sort of investment. As benefits can not only be measured in monetary terms, it also allows creating a degree of measurement for these non-monetary implications. Countries have various motivations in their efforts to gain an event of this stature, the belief that economic growth will be generated, a development of infrastructure can be attained through supporting developments and maybe even acceptance into the modern world for more developing nations. Many a institutions and bodies who help promote the growth and generate forecasts to highlight the potential benefits offer economic models, with somewhat unrealistic and exaggerated economic benefits, with previous host nations not obtaining anywhere near these speculations and the actual results being a lot less. What this cost benefit analysis will allow me to then do is measure the actual results of previous hosting, in a matter that can then express the true economic implications of event of this stature. This will ultimately then allow me to come to the conclusion based on factual economical evidence weather the Olympics is the economic stimulus the Olympic committee claim it to be, or whether it is really “fool’s gold” (Baade and Matheson, 2002)


(i)         The development of a theoretical framework literature review which should outline the key aspects of the relevant economic theory and be fully referenced in relation to origination and application of the theory. [approximately 1000-1500 words]


By using a Cost Benefit Analysis what this allows is a decision maker such as the government, to list all the costs and benefits a project is going to effect and the different sectors in the economy this may affect. However not all cost and benefits are numerically measurable and these will have to be quantified to be able to carry out this process. Through a cost benefit analysis what this then allows us to bring is an estimation of the implications of hosting this event through a universal indicator. This instrument allows policy makers to then make a decision on whether or not to take a certain course of action, and if that course of action was too undergo, what the expected outcomes would then be.

When using a cost benefit analysis the procedure will either be used for an investment type decision, such as whether a particular event should go forward, or for a decision making process as to which path should be taken, for example to make a decision amongst numerous different options. If we were then to further take the Cost Benefit Analysis into an economic approach what we are then defining is the welfare and the affects the investment will have on these defined groups weather this be a nation or a particular demographic. Further implications and considerations of an economic cost benefit analysis would be that of the social effects on people, in terms of changing areas such as their standards of living, increase in happiness and so forth.

What this would then allow is for a structure and analysis of the various aspects to take place which consist of the project that is going to take place, the people this may affect, the parameters such as costs and benefits, the risk and uncertainty, inflation, discount rates and so forth. (Snell, M. 1997, Frost, M.J 1975, Perkins, F 1994, Dasgupta, A.K, Pearce, D.W 1972 and Kendall, M.G, 1971)

Costs and Benefits

When it comes to the consideration of the costs and benefits of a project there are numerous areas to take into consideration this can consist of, the volume of products and services needed to carry out a task, the amount of space the project will take up and where this will be positioned, how will the people around be affected, what will the impact on the local economy be and finally who receives the benefits and who takes the cost. The largest and most apparent cost is going to be the various levels of construction that take place throughout a project. Project costs are generally underestimated as people generally say the mostly likely value of a cost not the mean value that it could be, and construction costs are positively skewed which highlights that mean exceeds the mode which then shows that this highlights project costs are generally underestimated. This is very important when considering your estimates as this could be a value that alters on a large scale. Further areas come under what is known as the externalities which may be affected which come at a largely estimated value and they may be hard to measure this is due to the nature of the variable that may be trying to be measured, an example of this could consist of measuring a group of individuals happiness before and after the project. These are hard to create a comparable variable but economists do their best to try measure this by scaling ones happiness through different measurements such as how do they feel about the area they live in on a scale of 1-10. However these measurements are subject to anomalies due to a person’s mood on one particular day may vary to their net happiness, however through gaining a large enough collection of data a reliable average can be generated and used. (Kendall, M.G, 1971, Snell, M. 1997, Treasury Guidance 1997, Sassone, P.G and Schaffer, W.A 1978)

Risk and Uncertainty

What risk and uncertainty allows for is two separate things.  Uncertainty covers the idea that the outcomes is probably unknown, undefined or non-consensus, whereas risk covers the probability of an outcome occurring which is either known or estimated the risk could be classified in areas such as what is the risk of a certain outcome occurring other than the one desired . In conjunction with a cost benefit analysis this risk and uncertainty gives the analysis more information in order to make estimates and decisions upon. Uncertainty can be measured through various measures such as a percentage. For example there is a 5% chance that the cost of the build will be 1.5 times the best estimate. Through the estimation of risk and uncertainty through the creation of a cost of if the outcome would occur this enables precautions and so forth to be put in place to prevent a certain outcome from taking place. Using the previous example, the budget could then be raised, to further take into the consideration that the build may be slightly more, allowing the decision maker to not only make a more realistic decision based on the provided information. It also allows them to base their decisions on their desires as decision makers are risk averse, as they don’t want to be made a fool of if things go wrong and are generally, and utility function is linear as he is just after a net benefit regardless of what that is. (Kendall, M.G, 1971, Snell, M. 1997 Brent, R.J 1998 and Irvin, G, 1978)

Discount Rate

Instead of using Inflation the discount rate is either used in conjunction or as an alternative, through using just the discount rate we can come to a similar estimation, without over complicating with further variables. The discount rate allows us to do in a cost benefit analysis is take into consideration the future value and the present value, and with the discount rate come up with a single value that represents the whole time scale, as something that is worth £100 in one year may not be worth the same in future years to come. What this then allows on large scale projects that occur of numerous years is create a single value taking into consideration the changes that will occur. This is still only an estimate but what it does become is a more accurate one.

There are various ways to generate the discount rate, some pay do it as a percentage, whilst others may, others may use figures more specific to the project such as the marginal rate of return on investment.  Ultimately what this allows for is a realistic estimate to be generated to try give the most accurate cost benefit analysis possible. (Snell, M. 1997, Kendall, M.G, 1971, Sassone P.G and Schaffer W.A 1978)

(i)         Empirical / Contextual literature review to support the specific methodology or approach to be taken to answer your research question(s). These should be discussed in terms of a critical summary / discussion of previous literature. [approximately 1000-1500 words]


The various categories can then be broken down into the following context. Costs, in the context of the Olympics this will directly relate to the costs in monetary and non-monetary terms of holding such event.


When considering the financial Implications of hosting the Olympics the upfront monetary aspect that any country whom has the desire to bid will be the bidding process itself. It can be a prime example of cost potential host countries will be implied before they are even given the benefit of hosting such a mega event.

Upon successful acceptance of the Olympic Games, governments will have further financial implications to consider, these can consist of the development of the necessary infrastructure, and firstly the development of stadiums would need to take place. If the host city does not have the capacity to cope with the influx of tourists, necessary areas such as transport, roads, accommodation and so forth need to be taken into the financial implications. A prime example of the monetary funds needed to just develop necessary facilities are apparent in the 1996 Olympics which where hosted in the city of Atlanta. This host city had already some of the required stadium facilities to host the Olympic and the renovation of these alongside development of a couple more resulting in an estimated expenditure of $600 Million (USD) according to Baade and Matheson, (2004) further studies by Baade (2006) of more recent Olympics put a monetary costs on the Greek Olympics held in Athens at a staggering $1 Billion (USD).

These costs than need be paid, the problem being is where is the money sourced, these funds are generally substituted from other areas of the economy who receive cuts. This then implies than other areas of expenditure and government spending are now worse off.

What other implications are their once the Olympics are over at the maintenance of these structures, this would be an on-going cost regardless of the structures use. These expansion of structures and industries during the Olympics can not only result in them having continually high maintenance costs afterward but the structures may be disused due to lack of demand.


However people in the existing areas could be driven out of house and home, the implications behind this being the rise in prices and facilities in that area, the poor people who once lived there can no longer afford.



When considering the Implications and the relatively large investment that is required of this nature it is ever apparent that benefits will be apparent, weather this consist in direct financial returns, or bring about other non-financial benefits from the long last affecting any large investment should uphold.


Any large event of the stature is bound to bring about the obvious monetary benefits, as any investment is ideally going to result in a level of returns, with a increase in property value


In the form of non-monetary benefits areas can undergo regeneration, increasing demand.

Host countries status can be brought forward on the global radar, for tourism, business and capabilities. Examples of this can be seen in one of the more recent Olympics in 2008 at Beijing, China. This host was show to enlighten the world of its capacity to meet the demands of the modern world. Hoping to bring about “Cash and Prestige” as referred to by Greene. (2003)

A further example of benefits is the significant increase in public expenditure that can be seen for that local economy which may not be achieved other as we clearly saw in the example of the 2012 London, UK. Olympics which brought about the mass re-generation of area.


So why not the Olympics, considering that the Olympics brings about benefits in more ways then one, the argument against this is that, this money could be better spent on other aspects that would yield better returns for that level of investment.


Revenues that are raised wont directly go to the direct economy, due to various factors such as, the event itself is held by large corporate bodies returns are taken and spread in these corporate bodies, therefore the local economy could not see a direct relationship. Furthermore jobs that may be created, would result in employees be obtained from the broader economy, what this then results in is the benefits once again been taken away from the economy who carried out the investment. These factors are once again clearly stated in Owen (2005) which are referred to as Leakages.

More problems consist of the people who predict the economic impacts, these people or bodies are general organisations that are going to directly benefit from these investments and commission these studies. The 2000 Olympic Games hosted in Sydney, Australia, predicted to create a $6.3 Billion impact, however this was merely a prediction and the actual impact resulted in TRY GET ANSWER OF ACTUAL IMPACT

The more profound problem with these  studies that try to predict the impact of hosting the Olympics, to sell the idea to potential host nations is the assumptions they use, and the assumptions they conveniently forget to put in. Mathesoon, (2006) highlights the way the economic impacts are produced. These consist of construction expenditure, number of visitors, average spend of these visitors and so forth. What Owen, (2005) then highlights is the underlying flaws in their predictions, which indicate the necessary assumptions that are left out. These consist of areas such as monies may be being spent by groups of individuals, this money may be money that they would have already spent in that economy, they simply are substituting it with the Olympics, therefore the Olympics doesn’t actual bring about a return on investment it simply substitutes the revenue streams from other sectors. This then creates a problem in the local economy as expenditure patterns change; this would ultimately negatively affect the economy and starts creating the opposite which is the desires of such an investment. Further evidence of the academics that bring up this issue of the predictions are Baade and Matheson (2004), who comply with the factors that spending patterns may just change not increase.

From a consumer level this can be seen taken to a business level. In French and Disher (1997) they analysed the 1996 Olympics held in Atlanta, USA. What they found through evidence and reports from business close and far between the grounds of the Olympics that a drop in business occurred, in the time period of the Olympics, in comparison to prior weeks and the same time period from the previous year.

Further problems are the drop of in demand for these structures once the initial excitement and demand for the Olympics expires. Therefore with the previously mentioned stealing of revenues and capital from other markets, and drop off in use after the hosting of the event can clearly hold that the event of this nature does not bring about the desired implications.

(iv)       Explain the method and data to be used, which should address discuss issues such as: what methods are appropriate to answering your research question(s)? What data / variables will you use? Where is it from? How will you analyse it? [approximately 200 words]

In order to answer my question of “The true cost of hosting the Olympics?” I am going to carry out a cost benefit analysis following the lines of the previous structure mentioned in the theoretical framework and empirical review. Consisting of a breakdown of the various cost and benefits such as monetary and non-monetary turning the various aspects into a measurement that can be compared on a nominal level. The areas in which I will gather the data will be though bringing together various individual economic analysis of previous host Olympics with consistent and realistic values in a combination with government published day, to then form my own calculations incorporating the areas of risk, probability and uncertainty alongside with the discount rates, to analyse with the countries previous estimations pre-hosting of the Olympics games, following by an analysis of post-Olympic games to conclude weather the country that have hosted Olympic games have realistic expectations of the costs and benefits and ultimately weather it brings bout a positive impact from an economic perspective.




Baade, R. (2006) “The Economic Impact of Mega-sporting Events”, in W. Andreff and S. Szymanski, Handbook on the Economics of Sport: Edward Elgar, p.177

Baade, R. Matheson, V. (2002) “Bidding for the Olympics: Fool’s Gold?”

Baade, R. Matheson, V. (2004) “Mega-Sporting Events in Developing Nations: Playing the way to prosperity?”, South African journal of economics, 72, 5, p.1084-1095

Brent, R.J (1998), Applied Cost- Benefit Analysis, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, p158-170

Dasgupta, A.K, Pearce, D.W (1972), Cost- Benefit Analysis: Theory and Practice, London: Macmillan, p19-51

French, S Disher, M (1997) “Atlanta and the Olympics: A One-year Retrospective”, Journal of the American Planning Association, 63, 3, p. 379–392.

Frost, M.J (1975), How to Use Cost Benefit Analysis in Project Appraisal, Hampshire: Gower Press, p3-30

Greene, S (2003) “Staged Cities: Mega-events, Slum Clearance, and Global Capital”, Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal,6, p.165.

Irvin, G (1978), Modern Cost-Benefit Methods: An Introduction to Financial, Economic and Social Appraisal of Development Projects, London: The MacMillan Press LTD, p43

Kendall, M.G (1971), Cost-Benefit Analysis: Opening Ceremony and Historical Review, London: Elsevier, p5-16

Matheson, V (2006) “Economic Impact Analysis” in Andreff, W and Szymanski, S. Handbook on the economics of Sport, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar

Owen, J (2005) “Estimating the  Cost and Benefit of Hosting the Olympic Games: What can Beijing expect from its 2008 Games?”, The Industrial Geographer, 3, 1, p. 1-18

Perkins, F (1994), Cost Benefit Analysis Basic Concepts and Applications, Melbourne: Macmillan Education, p3-13

Sassone, P.G, Schaffer, W.A (1978), Cost-Benefit Analysis, Atlanta: Academic Press, p31-128

Snell, M (1997), Cost-Benefit Analysis, London: Thomas Telford Limited, p4-50

Treasury Guidance (1997), Appraisal and Evaluation in Central Government, London: Crown, p15-29

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