There's an interesting piece on the economics of the Olympics in Foreign Policy. In short the games make a lot of money.... for the IOC. The host country is pretty much screwed. The effects of hosting the games include:
- Costs that are well over estimate. China's games were originally supposed to cost about $2 Billion but have now had more than $40 Billion spent on them.
- Hosting the games in usually a precursor to slower economic growth in the following year as investment tails off and big unused facilities have to be dealt with.