Tyler Cowen considers the question of which team's victory in the World Cup would result in the greatest overall happiness, and concludes (based on the number and intensity of fans) that it would be Brazil. As far as the immediate effects of a victory are concerned, this is probably about right. But could there not also be consequences for global economic growth and financial stability?
Hein Schotsman of ABN AMRO has looked at these broader economic effects and comes to the conclusion that a victory by a large economy currently running a significant trade surplus would be best. This leads him to the one obvious candidate:
According to a detailed analysis of the 32 countries in this year’s tournament, Mr. Schotsman is convinced that a win by the Germans would boost the global economy. Here’s how: Germany is among the world’s biggest economies and has a large trade surplus. A win by the Germans would boost domestic confidence and spending, thus increasing imports from other countries.
“A German victory will result in a relatively big dent in the German trade surplus, which is best for the stability of the world economy. This is just what is badly needed after the credit crisis,” Mr. Schotsman said in a report released Tuesday called Soccernomics 2010.
Maybe so. But as far as my own happiness is concerned, I would like to see Argentina prevail against Germany tomorrow. Lionel Messi has been the player of the tournament so far and I would hate to see his team eliminated.