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Olympic games and Chinese economy - Essay Example

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Summary
For many countries which have not won a single gold medal in the history of the Olympic Games, the quest for an Olympic gold is a major challenge, a gargantuan task towards national recognition and excellence.
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Olympic games and Chinese economy

Download file to see previous pages... Next year, that distinction belongs to Beijing, an ancient city north of China, which is in the forefront of China's surging economy and the center of its political power. In the history of the Olympic movement, China is only the third Asian country - after Tokyo in 1964 and Seoul in 1986 - to host the prestigious Games. The International Olympic Committee chose Beijing over several other aspirants that included Toronto, Paris, Istanbul, and Osaka. The cities of Bangkok, Cairo, Havana, Kuala Lumpur, and Seville also submitted bids to host the Games, but failed to make the shortlist in 2000. Beijing is the fourth city - after Berlin (1936), Mexico City (1968), and Moscow (1980) -- under authoritarian rule to host the games. Its officials welcome the selection as an opportunity to showcase its newfound economic prosperity and to project a more positive image to the rest of the world. While economists believe Beijing is certain to achieve its grand objective of showcasing its vibrant economy and projecting a more positive image in the eyes of the world, they are in disagreement over the Games' immediate impact on its economy. Soon after the announcement was made on the choice of Beijing as the next Olympic site, (Beijing Olympics 2008) the Chinese government announced that it will earmark $20 billion to modernize the city's infrastructure and facilities to improve its woefully polluted environment in time for the Games. That announcement alone is enough assurance that the Olympic Games is bound to spell a dramatic transformation for Beijing, although this figure has already doubled as of the latest count.
It is commonly assumed that the scale of an Olympic event and the scale of the preparations for it will create large and lasting economic benefits to the host city. Economic impact studies confirm these expectations by forecasting economic benefits in the billions of dollars. Goldman Sachs Asia has made one of the more aggressive forecasts, predicting that the Games will increase China's GDP growth by 0.3 per cent annually between 2002 and 2008, citing service sectors such as tourism, transportation, information technology services and logistics as the areas for the greatest growth.
On the other hand, JP Morgan said the event would increase GDP by no more than 0.05 per cent per year, a figure that hardly makes a difference in China's impressive double digit annual economic GDP growth. "The divergent views are due to different assumptions," said Huang Yiping, an analyst at Salomon Smith Barney. Those who are unmoved by the Games' economic drawing power claim no evidence of positive economic impacts from mega-sporting events even remotely approaching the estimates in economic impact studies. In a study of the impact of Super Bowls on local economies, (Robert A. Baade and Victor Matheson, 1999) found "no measurable impact on spending associated with the event." Their explanation is that capacity constraints in the hotel industry cause room prices to increase with no change in occupancy rates. Higher rates contribute to the crowding out of regular traffic and net spending in areas other than hotel rooms changes little, if at all.
The same report claims that longer term sports programs, usually involving stadium subsidies to attract or keep professional teams, have also failed to deliver on projected economic benefits. Even for cities that usually are considered success stories for sports development strategy, such as Baltimore and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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