How to explain the diverging Olympic harvests of Emerging Markets?
If one set of statistics were to remind us of the heterogeneity of the Brics grouping, it could be this year’s medal table. China, with 38 trophies, continued to impress (albeit falling second to the US). Russia was next, with a decent 24 golds. But their other teammates proved paltry performers. Brazil ranked 21st with 3 gold medals; South Africa was right behind, with the same numbers of trophees; and India, with four bronzes and two silvers, ranked 55th.
The broader Team EM displayed equally variable performances. While its best members enjoyed a bumper medal harvest (South Korea: 13 golds, Hungary: 8, Ukraine: 5) others failed to make it to the first step even once (Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia). Some markedly improved on their Beijing performance (Kazakhstan: from 29thto 12th), while others significantly slipped down the table (Belarus: from 16th to 26th).
This may not come as a surprise to many sport enthusiasts, who take the variable performance of athletes – and countries – as part of the fun. But it will undoubtedly continue to puzzle economists.Read More