Illuminating the World Cup Effect: Night Lights Evidence from South Africa

34 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2018

See all articles by Gregor Pfeifer

Gregor Pfeifer

The University of Sydney

Fabian Wahl

University of Hohenheim - Department of Economics

Martyna Marczak

University of Hohenheim

Date Written: November 2018

Abstract

This paper evaluates the economic impact of the $14 billion preparatory infrastructure investments for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. We use satellite data on night light luminosity at municipality and electoral district level as a proxy for economic activity, applying synthetic control methods for estimation. For the average World Cup municipality, we find significantly positive, short‐run effects before the tournament, corresponding to a reduction of unemployment by 1.3 percentage points. At the electoral district level, we reveal distinct effect heterogeneity, where especially investments in transport infrastructure are shown to have long‐lasting, positive effects, particularly in rural areas.

Keywords: economic growth, Football World Cup, mega sports events, night lights data, public infrastructure, South Africa, synthetic control methods

Suggested Citation

Pfeifer, Gregor and Wahl, Fabian and Marczak, Martyna, Illuminating the World Cup Effect: Night Lights Evidence from South Africa (November 2018). Journal of Regional Science, Vol. 58, Issue 5, pp. 887-920, 2018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3281869 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jors.12410

Gregor Pfeifer (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney ( email )

University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

Fabian Wahl

University of Hohenheim - Department of Economics ( email )

Wollgrasweg 49
Stuttgart, 70599
Germany
+49711-45924405 (Phone)

Martyna Marczak

University of Hohenheim ( email )

Schloss, Museumsfluegel
Stuttgart, 70593
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://labour.uni-hohenheim.de/

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