Andres Vaher

Research seminar: Mega events and institutional development


MS Teams


 GAYGYSYZ ASHYROV (Estonian Business School)

Recent shifts in locations of the organization of mega events (Olympics, FIFA World Cup, Expo etc.) towards emerging countries (such as Russia, China, South Africa) led to the soaring objections among human right activists and investigative journalists with to the concerns over human right violations. We aim to understand the linkage between two phenomena, by empirically testing the impact of sports mega events on human rights violations in over 120 countries. By applying panel data techniques on a rich dataset going back to 1900, we find no evidence for the negative effect of sports mega events on human rights violations. On the contrary, organization of such events (the year of the nomination as well as the actual event) produces a positive effect, which remains statistically significant after several different specifications. In addition, we find a spill-over effect on improving human rights’ situation onto consecutive years after the country hosted the mega-event. Moreover, even when controlling for the economic (GDP per capita), political (political participation), security (internal conflict), energy dependency (oil production) factors, mega events as well as the election years (including consecutive years – mostly 2-3 years after) are strong determinants of improving the human rights situation across the world, since 1900.


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