Over at the ever interesting Fairplay and Forward Passes blog Sam Richardson asks, New Zealand's Olympic success - what's in it for us? A good question. At one point Sam writes,
What perked my ears, though, was this comment:In reply Sam makes the point,
[Canterbury University senior lecturer in Management Ekant] Veer said New Zealand was a sports crazy country and a successful Olympic campaign often had huge impact on the nation’s mood.
"Which, in turn, can lead to increased productivity at work, improved relationships, increased consumer spending and all manner of behaviours that are positive for this nation."
I'm not aware of much in the way of evidence that supports the economic arguments mentioned above (increased productivity at work and increased consumer spending).My question would be isn't anyone going to ask what the opportunity cost of sport funding is? What would happen if we put the money used for sport into health or education or welfare or ........? With a bit more money going into education maybe Canterbury University won't have had to fire as many members of the management department. Or what if we just gave it back to the taxpayer, wouldn't that do wonders for the taxpayer's mood?