Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The cost of every Olympics Games since 1960

Paul Kirby points out to a new working paper by Bent Flyvbjerg and colleagues where they make a systematic analyses of the costs and cost overruns for every Olympic Games between 1960 and 2016.

Flyvbjerg, B., Budzier, A., & Stewart, A. (2016). The Oxford Olympics Study 2016: Cost and Cost Overrun at the Games. Available at SSRN 2804554.

Some of the main findings highlighted by the authors:
  1. Average actual outturn cost for Summer Games is USD 5.2 billion (2015 level), and USD 3.1 billion for Winter Games
  2. The most expensive Summer Olympic games in history was London 2012, which cost $15 billion. The cheapest one was in Tokyo in 1964, for a grand total of only $280 million.
  3. Olympics have the highest average cost overrun of any type of megaproject, at 156 percent in real terms.
  4. Fourth, and finally, the Rio 2016 Games, at a cost of USD 4.6 billion, appear to be on track to reverse the high expenditures of London 2012 and Sochi 2014 and deliver a Summer Games at the median cost for such Games. The cost overrun for Rio – at 51 percent in real terms, or USD 1.6 billion – is the same as the median cost overrun for other Games since 1999.

By the way, Flyvbjerg has given a interesting interview at EconTalk. Highly recommended.

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