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64OLYMPIC REVIEWOLYMPIC RESEARCH CORNEROLYMPICECONOMICSTHE ECONOMICS OF OLYMPIC GAMES HAVE ONLYBEEN A RESEARCH FIELD FOR THE PAST 15 YEARS ORSO BUT THE AREA IS THE SUBJECT OF INCREASINGFOCUS AND ATTENTION. DR. HOLGER PREUSSOUTLINES THE MAIN LINES OF RESEARCH

OLYMPIC RESEARCH CORNEROLYMPIC REVIEW465"FESTIVALISATION" OF CITY POLITICSIt is not uncommon for cities around the world tostruggle in the global competition of attractingeconomic activity and importance to their city. TheOlympic Games are an event that can provide whatmany cities are looking for. Firstly, the Games attractfresh economic resources, in the form of thecontribution made by the International OlympicCommittee (IOC), government subsidies, foreign directinvestments and most importantly the expenditures of foreign Olympic tourists. Secondly, due to theimmense infrastructural demands, the preparation forthe Games triggers an accelerated city transformation.Thirdly, the Games attract worldwide attention, whichcan be seen as a free city marketing opportunity toattract new tourists, businesses, fairs, congresses,events, and stimulate trade in the years following theOlympic Games. This explains why ever more citieshave shown an interest in staging the Olympic Games since Los Angeles in 1984. Recently it is not only the developed nations thatare looking to attract the Games or other mega eventsbut also newly industrialised countries in particular the BRIC -Brazil, Russia, India, and China. Politiciansof these countries are hoping to benefit from theevent legacy that we have seen in former Olympichost cities. However, legacy has to be well-plannedand requires additional investments to activate andleverage the desired long-term changes. RESEARCHING THE ECONOMICIMPACT From a macroeconomic perspective the key welfareissue is whether or not the Olympic Games reallyachieve efficient outcome given the potentiallyincompatible aims of the various different stakeholdersinvolved. The effects of an event like the OlympicGames on a host city will inevitably create both"winners" and "losers", those who benefit from thechanges and those who suffer from them. Recentresearch tries to provide evidence whether the oftenexaggerated economic expectations of politicians andmany citizens actually becomes reality. Seriouseconomic studies analyse the Game's output and ?LeftVancouverused the 2010Olympic WinterGames to buildon its existingreputation as anattractive touristdestination