Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Chair/Advisor

Babur De Los Santos

Committee Member

F. Andrew Hanssen

Committee Member

Devon Gorry


Countries pledge ever increasing budgets and commitments to host the Olympics. The region whose bid emerges victorious puts in motion the reallocation of inputs, labor, and capital to build all the promised infrastructure to run the event, while the remaining areas in country remain largely unaffected by the intervention. This quasi-experiment scenario is proper for the usage of the Synthetic Control Method but few papers have exploited it. This paper fills the gap by being the first to offer an analysis at local level for a developing economy on the impact of the Olympics. Using Rio de Janeiro's winning bid for the 2016 Olympics in 2009, this paper utilizes annual data from 2000 to 2019 to estimate the impact of the intervention when compared to its synthetic control simulating the absence of such. I estimate a statistically significant average increase in income inequality by .026 in the Gini index due to the Olympics. Furthermore, the estimations show no statistically significant impact of the event for per capita GDP and net admissions into the labor market. The results are consistent with the previous literature and also backs the claims of disillusionment with regards to the benefits of the Olympics by citizens.



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