The (non) determinants of Olympic success

Johan Rewilak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper empirically examines the determinants of Summer Olympic success during the period 1996-2016. By modifying the panel Tobit estimator using the Mundlak transform, the results find that population size and the host effect are the only statistically significant determinants of Olympic attainment. We also show that participating in front of a home crowd will stimulate athletic performance equally for each gender, but the impact of population differs between the sexes. These findings are confirmed using a hurdle estimator. This relaxes the assumption that the factors determining Olympic success are the same as those that influence the quantity of success.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)546-570
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Sports Economics
Issue number5
Early online date23 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

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  • Olympic games
  • gender differences
  • gender equality
  • host effect
  • medal count


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