Socioeconomic Predictors of the 2010 FIFA World Cup

Stephen Imperiale-Hagerman
January 2011
Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports;Jan2011, Vol. 7 Issue 1, p1282
Academic Journal
A country's size in terms of population and economic status play a major role in the resources available to a national soccer team. Additionally, the national expectations for the team define what a successful result is. The purpose of this paper is to present a prediction for the 2010 Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup based on socioeconomic variables. Building off of models presented by Johnson and Ali (2004) as well as Dyte and Clark (2000), new models are created and presented. First, a linear regression model accounts for the ratings and rankings of the nations participating. Then, the ratings are applied to a Poisson regression to predict the outcome for each of the 64 games in the World Cup. The results predict the tournament will be won by Brazil. The model was then subjected to back-testing using the 2006 World Cup tournament. The back-tested model ranked the eventual first, second and third place finishers higher than the FIFA official rankings. The paper then presents future directions for research and notes the rationale for omissions from the model.


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