The FIFA World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world, and it’s coming to Qatar in 2022. But does hosting the tournament really help a country’s economy?
The answer is complicated. On one hand, the global audience for the World Cup is massive: 3 billion people watched at least some of the 2014 tournaments in Brazil. That means international exposure for companies headquartered in host countries — everything from beer brands to airlines. And it’s a chance for those companies to sell their products at much higher prices than usual.
But there are also lots of costs associated with hosting: stadiums have to be built, infrastructure upgraded and security provided. And that doesn’t even take into account what economists call “crowding out” effects: when government spending crowds out private investment because it takes up so much economic activity.
So what happens when you look at overall economic growth? In short, it depends on how you measure things and where you look.
Last modified: August 7, 2022