Monday, June 28, 2010

World Cup and Economic Freedom

Art Carden has a entertaining post at DOL on how the World Cup would play out if the outcome were based on the country's economic freedom score (Chile wins over England in the finale).

For what it's worth, if I knew nothing about the quality of the teams in the tournament, but was trying to win a bracket pool, my prior would be to rank teams inversely to their economic freedom score. My reasoning? Soccer requires virtually no accumulation of capital. All you need is a field, a ball, and something that can serve as the goal. Contrast that with (American) football, basketball, track (at least the sprints, any sprinter will tell you the importance of surface practice and block work), swimming, etc.

I would add the spreading worldwide popularity of basketball (which is more capital intensive than soccer, but not incredibly so) as evidence to this phenomenon, while admitting it is largely ex-post story telling.


ZW said...

But as the Onion notes, "Field has two goal areas, though usually one or fewer is needed," so it's even cheaper!

liberty said...

you would have lost out -- North Korea was completely destroyed, like 7-0 I think.