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An economic analysis of sports performance in Africa

The purpose of this study is to develop insight into the socio-economic determinants of African sports performance. Previous studies have argued that a country’s success in sports is directly related to the economic resources that are available for those sports. However, factors that are used to determine the levels of success for developed countries are not necessarily the same, or bear the same weight, as for developing countries. The premise of this study is to identify specific factors that increase success in sports in developing countries by means of several econometric specifications, using cross-sectional data for African countries. This study finds evidence that suggests that Africa’s performance in sports is dependent on a range of socioeconomic factors, which in some respects confirms worldwide studies, but also adds significant nuance.

Working Paper 162
1 January 2010
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