Episode 8: The Real Score: Post-World Cup

Why would anyone want to host the World Cup?.. there are a lot of “soft” reasons, but I am searching for the hard facts
— Bryan Samuel

The World Cup is one of the few events that truly commands the global stage. It provides A chance for nations to rally passionately behind their team as a unified voice, where even the smallest countries can have their moment in the spotlight.

Even though the excitement and grandeur surrounding the event are as vibrant as ever, the World Cup has recently been rightfully scrutinized on account of political corruption, unreasonable economic stresses, human rights violations and population displacement.

Combining traditional economic data and subjective leaning (soft) metrics, this research attempts to quantify the baseline economic benefits and/or drawbacks of either hosting or winning the World Cup. By aggregating the available data, we hope to establish trends in the years leading up to and following the event to probe the simple question: is hosting or winning the World cup actually beneficial for a country?

Defining “beneficial” proves to be difficult, as we dissect the relationship between economic viability and the seemingly immeasurable value of personal pride for one’s nation.


  1. Happiness Index: Life evaluation—as measured by the Cantril ladder-of-life question that asks people to make a cognitive assessment of the quality of their lives on an 11-point ladder scale, with the bottom rung of the ladder (0) being the worst possible life for them and the top rung (10) being the best possible life. World Happiness Report 2018

  2. Cost of England’s World Cup Bid: England's failed 2018 World Cup bid cost £21m – some £6m more than had been widely reported, according to the latest Football Association accounts. The Guardian

  3. Qatar World Cup Budget: Qatar now expects the infrastructure bill for the 2022 FIFA World Cup to stand between $8 billion and $10 billion, CNN reports. That’s a 40-50% reduction from the initial budget, according to Hassan Al Thawadi, the Qatari official who heads the tournament’s organizing committee. Fortune

  4. South Africa “Temporary Relocation”: Human rights campaigners say South African authorities have forcibly moved thousands of the impoverished to Blikkiesdorp and other settlements to present a good image of the nation during the World Cup, which begins Friday…Cape Town officials describe Blikkiesdorp -- erected two years ago for people illegally occupying buildings -- as "a temporary relocation area" until proper housing can be built. "We acknowledge that Blikkiesdorp is not a perfect solution, but it is what we can do with the existing resources," said Kylie Hatton, a city council spokeswoman. But nobody, she said, has been "deliberately cleansed" from a neighborhood because of the World Cup. The Washington Post

  5. Chicago Mayor Removes City from World Cup Bid: “FIFA could not provide a basic level of certainty on some major unknowns that put our city and taxpayers at risk,” the mayor’s office said in a statement Wednesday. “The uncertainty for taxpayers, coupled with FIFA’s inflexibility and unwillingness to negotiate, were clear indications that further pursuit of the bid wasn’t in Chicago’s best interests.” Chicago Sun Times

  6. Tax Exemption: FIFA enjoys tax-exempt status at the World Cup, as do its corporate partners, and Brazil's Internal Revenue Service has claimed – in a cautious estimate – that such exemptions rob the host country of nearly $250mThe Guardian

  7. Ted Talk - New Insights on Poverty

  8. World Cup 2026 Plan


  1. Per Capita GDP, PPP: The total value of goods and services produced for a country per member of the population, adjusted for national differences in costs of living

  2. Employment Rate: The percentage of the available and willing population that is employed

  3. International Tourism: Number of foreign international arrivals, in millions.

  4. Search Engine Tracking: Relative popularity of a search keyword in number of views