Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
Over onsNieuws en agendaNieuwsberichten

Groningen-Beijing conference: the economics of the Olympic Games

13 December 2007

What is the impact of the Olympic Games on the local economy? And on the economy of medal winning countries? What effects do television rights and medal tallies have? On these and related topics, the Management School of the Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Faculty of Economics and Business of the University of Groningen jointly organize a conference in Groningen*, on 27 and 28 June 2008.

[*Due to local restrictions in Beijing the workshop has been moved to Groningen.]

Keynote speakers on the Economics of the Olympic Games Conferencewill be -among others the professors of sports economics Holger Preuss (Mainz) and Ruud Koning (Groningen), renowned expert on the economic effects of Olympic Games. The joint organization of the conference further strengthens the cooperation between the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Groningen Faculty of Economics and Business.

20 billion dollar

The goal of the conference is to cover the many economic aspects of the Olympic Summer Games, and more specifically those of the Games of the 29th Olympiad in Beijing (8-24 August 2008). The Olympic Summer Games are the major example of mega sporting events, hosting the top of the world’s most competitive athletes and attracting a very large interest in media coverage. The total financial spending of the event reaches about 20 billion US dollar, but total economic value probably exceeds this figure.

Economic impact

Generally, the economics of sports is a growing field of research. The main causes of the increasing interest in sports economics are the increase in labor productivity, and therefore the increase of leisure time, and increase in labor division, through which sports professionalism can develop. One of the exponents of increasing sports professionalism is the organization of large and specialized sporting events, like the Olympic Games. The Olympic Games might have an impact on local economic activity, but the results in terms of medal winnings might also be sensitive to economic conditions in the participating countries. Moreover, the organization of the Games requires many allocation problems, like scheduling of events, marketing, financing, and safeguarding the legacy (e.g. in terms of Olympic culture and environmental issues).

Conference topics

The conference brings together specialists in the field of the economics of the Olympic Games. There will be contributions in the field of:

  • Competitive balance and home advantage of individual Olympic sports
  • Marketing of the Olympic Games
  • Incentives and performance of athletes
  • Television rights and the Olympic Games
  • Medal tally of the Olympic Games
  • Organization of Olympic Games: logistics, optimal tournament design
  • Long-term effects of hosting the Olympic Games
  • Financing the Olympic Games
  • Economic effects of organizing Olympic Games
  • Infrastructure (sport facilities, training facilities, legacy)

More information

-For more information on the programme: Mrs. Rina Koning, research coordinator of SOM, tel. 050 363 38 15, e-mail:

Last modified:31 January 2018 11.51 a.m.

More news