Document Type

Working Paper

Date of This Version



World Cup, sports, tourism, Brazil, soccer

JEL Classification

Z23, L83, F14


Mega-sporting events such as the FIFA World Cup are expensive affairs. Host countries often justify the spending required to stage these events by predicting that mega-events will draw large numbers of tourists. This paper analyzes monthly foreign tourist arrivals into Brazil between 2003 and 2015 and finds that the 2014 FIFA World Cup increased foreign tourism by roughly one million visitors. This number far exceeded expectations, but we show that roughly a quarter of this increase in foreign tourism was caused by the fortuitous advancement of Argentina’s national team, and potential hosts should not count on the event to consistently produce out-sized tourism figures We conclude that on-field results can greatly influence FIFA World Cup tourism.

Working Paper Number




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