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This paper presents the initial results of a significant research conducted under the IOC PhD Student Research Grant Programme with the support of the Hungarian Olympic Committee. A macroand meso-level analysis were conducted within the framework of this research; this paper presents the macro model, with the aim of capturing important features of the economic, political and institutional environments which affect the productivity of a nation’s sport performance and growth; with this the paper contributes to an understanding of the key elements of high-performance sport development. The macro model divides sport into two groups – individual and team sports – in order to determine if there are any differences at the macro level. The influence of the economic factors which were included in the models shows a decreasing effect on the market share of nations, which means that other factors must also play a significant role in a nation’s international sporting success. The responsibility of national sport governance will become even more important in elite sport success in the future, which shows that the efficient utilisation of recourses will also become a key factor, along with an appropriate structure, organisation and integrated coordination.

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Acta Oeconomica
Authors: Gergely Csurilla, András Gyimesi, Erika Kendelényi-Gulyás, and Tamás Sterbenz


We describe a statistical approach for the measurement of the newly defined luck-based noise factor in sports. It is defined as the difference between the actual outcome and the expected outcome based on the model predictions. We raise the question whether some sports exhibit a higher level of noise-factor than others, making investments in that sport riskier. Data from 14 individual sports in six Summer Olympic Games between 1996 and 2016 were included in the analysis. Market shares are predicted by the autoregressive linear and zero-inflated beta regression models with exogenous variables, where the higher Normalized Mean Squared Error indicates a higher noise-factor. Modern pentathlon, tennis and cycling showed the highest noise-factors, whereas swimming, table tennis and athletics were the least noisy. Possible reasons are discussed in the paper. Our analysis indicates that countries with suitable resources producing leading elite Olympic athletes are predicted to achieve higher success in sports with a lower noise-factor such as swimming. In contrast, investments in noisy sports, such as e.g., modern pentathlon, are associated with a higher risk.

Open access