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A team of ABN Amro economists (who have way too much time on their hands) have published Soccernomics 2006. They claim that:

The world economy will benefit most from an Italian victory at the football World Cup in June/July… Although the direct economic impact (higher sales in bars and cafes) is marginal, good performances on the pitch can certainly stimulate an economy. In the past, countries winning the World Cup added around 0.7% to their economic growth. And at the last three tournaments the winning country's stock market considerably outperformed the losing finalist's market. On average there was 10% positive effect in the winner and a 25% negative effect in the loser.

But what of the health costs from all that extra beer? And having been in Peru, Chile and Brazil during World Cups – I know that the productivity loss is considerable. For example, I was supposed to go on a mission to Brazil in July/August but was told that their schedule was booked in preparation for World Cup celebrations.

ABN Amro also concluded that Brazil is the gambler’s pick, Argentina got the most unfavorable draw, England was the luckiest, and that Group F is the ‘group of death.’ A related interview.

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