Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Olympic Madness

I really don't know what we're going to post on now that the olympics are over, but in a final attempt to hang on, here's this.

In one of the posts I hypothesized about GDP correlating with winning medals. Well, if you couldn't tell from the start, that was oversimplifying things a bit. Andrew Bernard, a Dartmouth Economist, worked out a formula for predicting medal totals. In 2000 he predicted the exact number of medals the US won, and for the Athens olympics he was an amazing 97% accurate.

Bernard writes that four factors determine where the medals go:
1. Population
2. Per Capita Income
3. Past Olympic Performance
4. Host effect

Here's the article, it's an interesting read.


At 9/02/2004 05:09:00 PM,

I haven't had a chance to read the article but I do have an opinion on a related topic. Don't trust academics when it comes to sports. I think it was last year (maybe the year before) when a Cal (go figure, stupid Berkeley :) UCLA!) economics professor modified an economic equation (making it very complicated in the process) that in effect proved that every football team should go for it every fourth down and that by doing so they would yield greater success than punting in the same situation. Good luck with that.




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