This study adds to the debate about the relationship between the Olympic Games and socio-economic factors. It is the first empirical work testing if economic, political, and social determinants (as well as the prospects of success) help to forecast which countries will submit an Olympic bid to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). On the basis of the biddings for the eight Summer Olympic Games from 1992 to 2020, we find that countries recording larger eco-nomic growth are more likely to bid. Also, Olympic bids are more probable from nations with stable election results, recent improvements in health standards, and more international tourism arrivals. Finally, countries at least implicitly assess their chances of winning the Olympic host city election when considering a bid.
JEL classification: R58, L83, Z2