"Five days shalt thou labour, as the Bible says. The seventh day is the Lord thy God’s. The sixth day is for football."
The World Cup Football starts today and Goldman Sachs has just brought out a booklet, World Cup and Economics 2010, for this edition, which seeks to go beyond the football field and explore statistical relationships and causal explanations between football performance and national economic growth.
The report finds a relationship between the improvement in FIFA ranking since the last World Cup and the improvement in GES scores over the same period, particularly for developing countries. This correlation is 0.28 if we include all the participating countries (except North Korea); without Brazil and Argentina, it is even higher at 0.34; the relationship gets stronger at 0.51 if we look at the developing countries only; and without Brazil and Argentina, the correlation for emerging markets is even higher at 0.64. This suggests that improvements in GES "could conceivably be associated with better infrastructure and funding facilities for football", which in turn contributes to improving football performance.
The annual Growth Environment Scores (GES) brought out by Goldman Sachs measures the prospects for sustainable growth and productivity improvements across nations. The GES rank is from 0 to 10, with 10 being the highest, and the higher the score, the more likely the country is to be successful in terms of wealth.
Update 1 (14/6/2010)
Nice graphic that captures the economics of the World Cup.