Since the early 1990s, competition in the Olympic Winter Games has changed notably in terms of events contested and nations taking part. Despite, these changes, which are overseen by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the number of medal-winning nations has remained relatively stable. As a first attempt to illustrate this issue on a discipline-by-discipline basis, economic techniques are used in this research line to examine the outcome of competition.
The purpose of this research is to measure: market size; the number of competing nations; and the balance between competitive nations in six disciplines. Focusing on competitive balance, the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index is applied to measure the concentration of domination; while the Przeworski Index is used to quantify instability over time. Important changes are identified in biathlon (2010) and short track (2014). While the change in the former is consistent with the IOC’s substantial increase in biathlon events, the latter can be attributed to athletes changing their nationality.