A couple of months ago, we presented a microLECTURE by Colorado College economics professor Daniel Johnson focused on his methodologies for utilizing the principles of economics to predict the number of medals any given country could be expected to win on the Olympic stage.  If you missed the microLECTURE, you can view it below, but let us now see how Johnson’s model did in comparison to the final results of the 2012 London Olympics.

Let’s take a look at the top five medal winning countries (to view additional results, see the links below):

Country: Johnson’s Prediction of Total Medals Actual Number of Medals
United States 99 104
China 67 87
Russia 82 82
Great Britain 45 65
Germany 60 44

Though the model underpredicted the number of medals China would receive, thereby swapping the places of China and Russia, all of the top five that Johnson’s model predicted would be there, were there. Remarkably, Johnson correctly predicted that Russia would receive 82 medals, the Chinese, the Brits and the Germans are a little harder to pin down, which is understandable in a non-econ kind of way.

For insight into Johnson’s process and to learn how it all started, spend 3 minutes of your day watching this video:

For a complete list of actual 2012 Olympic Medal results, you can visit NBC’s Olympic website, HERE. For Daniel Johnson’s complete 2012 predictions, click HERE.


One Response to Daniel Johnson’s Olympic Prediction Scorecard

  1. […] Based on the above, I give the gold medal to Dan Johnson. […]


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