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Why Do Some Countries Win More Olympic Medals? Lessons for Social Mobility and Poverty Reduction

Anirudh Krishna and Eric Haglund
Economic and Political Weekly
Vol. 43, No. 28 (Jul. 12 - 18, 2008), pp. 143-151
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40277720
Page Count: 9
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Why Do Some Countries Win More Olympic Medals? Lessons for Social Mobility and Poverty Reduction
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Abstract

Not everyone in our country has equal access to competitive sports. Many are not effective participants on account of ignorance or disinterest, disability or deterrence. This analysis considers two separate arenas for enlarging the pool of effective participants, one related to sports and other to social mobility. In both cases, this paper finds the plausibility of an explanation based on effective participation rates. It examines what country characteristics are associated with greater success in the Olympics at the macro level by considering indicators such as health, education, and especially three variables of information and access (road length per unit of land area, the share of urban population and radios per capita). It also analyses the opportunities and achievements in the villages of two states, Karnataka and Rajasthan.

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