Bill Mitchell's alternative medal tally - Last updated August 2, 2012 - 05:02 EAST
(Professor Bill Mitchell is the Professor of Economics, Director, Centre of Full Employment and Equity, University of Newcastle, Callaghan NSW 2308, Australia)
Olympic medal tallies are a contestable measure. What would happen if we added a few popular indices to a review of medal tallies by countries competing at the games?
Bill Mitchell presents an analysis is derived from the Olympic Games Medal Tally and aimed to present a different view of the Games.
The absolute (official) medal count allows large nations to hear their national anthem a lot but hides facts like how large their economy is (the largest having more resources to devote to sport and nutrition etc), how large their population is (more people to win medals), and how much income per person the nation has (arguably the best measure of the capacity of the nation to mount a sport's campaign in pursuit of medals).
Alternative medal counts modify the official tally to take into account size of economy, size of population and the income per head that each medal-winning nation enjoys.
The comparisons cannot be used to extrapolate anything. There are clearly not enough medals available at the Olympic Games for a largely populated country like China or the US or India, to name a few of several to win their "fair share". But then we also would expect the large countries to exhibit scale economies that smaller countries cannot.
Whatever, the tables are not statistical or probabilistic in nature and carry no predictive value. They are just for some fun and should not be taken seriously.
The following table is presented by The Guardian.co.uk - sport - datablog - 2012 - alternative medal table