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Forecasting national team medal totals at the Summer Olympic Games

Forrest, David and Sanz Labrador, Ismael and Tena Horrillo, Juan de Dios (2010) Forecasting national team medal totals at the Summer Olympic Games. International Journal of Forecasting, Vol. 26 (3), p. 576-588. ISSN 0169-2070. Article.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.ijforecast.2009.12.007

Abstract

The paper reports the results of an exercise to forecast national team medal totals at the Beijing Olympic Games, 2008. Forecasts were released to the media before the competitions commenced. The starting point was an established statistical model based on a regression analysis of medal totals in earlier Games, with past performance and GDP among the principal covariates. However, we based our own forecasts on a model with additional regressors, including a measure of public spending on recreation. This adaptation is shown to have improved the forecasting performance. We also made subjective, judgemental adjustments before releasing our final public forecasts, and we demonstrate that this led to a further increase in accuracy. These final forecasts were successful in predicting the principal changes in medal shares relative to the 2004 Games, namely the surge in medals for China and Great Britain and the substantial fall in medals for Russia.

Item Type:Article
ID Code:5655
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords:Sports forecasting, Olympic Games, medals
Subjects:Area 13 - Scienze economiche e statistiche > SECS-P/05 Econometria
Divisions:001 Università di Sassari > 01 Dipartimenti > Economia, impresa, regolamentazione
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0169-2070
Copyright Holders:© 2010 International Institute of Forecasters Published by Elsevier
Additional Information:Title of the special issue: Sports Forecasting, edited by Herman O. Stekler and Leighton Vaughan Williams
An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Workshop on the economics of the olympic games, held at the University of Groningen, Netherlands, in May, 2008.
Deposited On:08 Mar 2011 13:07

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