Ancient Athens’ Economic Freedom Ranking

The abstract:

We use the Economic Freedom Index to characterize the institutions of the Athenian city-state in the fourth century BCE. It has been shown that ancient Greece witnessed improved living conditions for an extended period of time. Athens in the fourth century appears to have fared particularly well. We find that economic freedom in ancient Athens is on level with the highest ranked modern economies such as Hong Kong and Singapore. With the exception of the position of women and slaves, Athens scores high in almost every dimension of economic freedom. Trade is probably highly important even by current standards. As studies of contemporary societies suggest that institutional quality is probably an important determinant of economic growth, it may also have been one factor in the relative material success of the Athenians.

— Andreas Bergh and Hampus Lyttkens, “Measuring Institutional Quality in Ancient Athens.”

5 thoughts on “Ancient Athens’ Economic Freedom Ranking

  1. Jonathan Finegold Post author

    I don’t know what Mexico’s odds are posted at. I’ve heard people referring to the Netherlands as the team to beat, but I just don’t see it — sure, they beat Chile, but plenty of teams have done very well at the group stage and very poorly in the knockouts (e.g.Spain before 2010). But, the one that makes it through has a high probability of making it to the semis (playing either Costa Rica or Greece).

    Have you seen the model Lars Christensen posted a while ago? I know that it has at least two correct predictions: Spain’s knockout in the group stage and the two goal difference between Brazil and Croatia.

    Reply
    1. John S

      Yeah, the bracket definitely favors Mexico over a comparable side like the US. But even generously estimating Mexico’s chances at 65% in the quarters and 25% for the other three matches still only gets it to just over 1%, while in most markets Mexico is listed at 33-to-1 or better (2.94%). A bet against Mexico is a double win: a low probability event to start with (guards against short term variance), plus its chances seem to be greatly overestimated.

      http://www.oddschecker.com/football/world-cup/winner

      That Danske Bank report is interesting; it provides further support for Nate’s point that Brazil’s chances are likely being underestimated by betting markets. Interestingly, after the Chile match, the gap between Nate’s model and the market has widened even further (47% vs. around 28%). I’m guessing the market is overweighting the close result, while Nate’s model places more emphasis on the fact that the match is already in the books.

      Anyway, just curious what you think since you can actually judge the teams on the “eye test” vs. pure modeling. Is it reasonable to give Brazil a 77.7% chance of winning each of its next three matches?

      Reply
      1. Jonathan Finegold Post author

        Actually, I’d say Colombia has a higher chance of making it through than Brazil. It has a much better team. (That’s probably why markets have “underestimated” Brazil — they just aren’t a very good team, other than Neymar.)

        Reply
        1. John S

          Good point, even the SPI contradicts itself by ranking Colombia almost even with Brazil but still having Brazil as a 71.6% favorite to make the semis (unless the home effect really is that dramatic).

          But if Colombia really is that good, it’s also strange that the markets have Colombia at only 12:1 to win the WC. Whatever “equity” Brazil has leaked in the tourney by bringing a mediocre team should have accrued most to Colombia, since it gains the most, but it’s gone to European teams instead (mainly the Netherlands, it seems).

          At any rate, the SPI has performed pretty well against the market so far:

          http://thebiglead.com/2014/06/27/five-thirty-eight-538-world-cup-projections-how-did-they-do/

          Reply

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