GDP Per Capita Analysis

Liechtenstein, a country of less than 40,000, has the largest GDP Per Capita, but they do not field a women’s soccer team (https://pixabay.com/photos/liechtenstein-city-architecture-176116/)
9 of the top 10 women’s teams in the world also fall in the top 20% of GDP Per Capita. The one exception is Brazil, who ranks 108 out of 228. Pictured above is the Arena Pantanal is Cuiaba (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_FIFA_World_Cup)

Next the effect of GDP Per Capita on the success of women’s soccer teams was tested.  GDP Per Capita is a measure of the value of all the goods that a nation produces per citizen of the country.   GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is the most utilized metric for determining a country’s total economic activity as it measures the value of all the goods that the country’s economy produces.  GDP Per Capita, since it normalizes based on the population of the country, is more often used as an indicator of a country’s prosperity or living conditions. While large world powers such as China, the United States and Japan top the rankings for GDP, small but wealthy countries such as Liechtenstein, Qatar and Monaco top the rankings for GDP Per Capita (Chappelow).  Large but prosperous nations such as the United States (19th) and Germany (27th) also rank high.  GDP Per Capita data was taken from the CIA World Factbook.

GDP Per Capita was chosen as a metric to determine if the prosperity of a country affects women’s soccer success.  Wealthier nations with more resources might be better able and more willing to field strong women’s soccer teams because of their ability to invest in and support the development of women’s sport.  GDP Per Capita, however, is not a perfect measure of prosperity. Wealth might not be well distributed in countries with a high GDP; this risk is especially concerning in smaller countries where the overall GDP Per Capita can be skewed by a small population of super wealthy individuals (Liechtenstein has a population just under 40,000).  However, it is generally a good indicator of the wealth of a nation’s population and should still demonstrate whether this is a factor that influences a nation’s women’s soccer success.

The data yielded a positive coefficient, 0.73.  However, the t-value of 0.48 and p-value of 0.63 show that the relationship is not significant, as most tests use criteria of p-values less than 0.10 or 0.05 to determine significance.  This shows is that the prosperity of a country does not materially impact the success of women’s soccer since there is no significant relationship between GDP Per Capita and women’s soccer rankings.

When considering the impact of prosperity on women’s soccer, it is tempting to make the leap that more prosperous nations would have stronger women’s empowerment and thus better women’s soccer teams, but this is dangerous for two reasons.  First of all, two metrics intended to capture women’s empowerment were analyzed (Women’s Rights Index and Gender Gap Index) and will be discussed later. So it would not make sense to use GDP Per Capita as a proxy for women’s rights, and instead it would be most prudent to wait to analyze those more direct measures of women’s rights and their effect on women’s soccer success.  Secondly, the link between GDP Per Capita and women’s rights is not well defined. In the data, the interaction between GDP Per Capita and the Women’s Rights Index was considered, so that the values for both would be independent of their correlation to one another and show their own individual correlation with the women’s soccer rankings.

So it only makes sense to use GDP Per Capita as a metric for what it really is, the average prosperity of people in a country.  And the high p-value demonstrates that it does not significantly factor into the development of women’s soccer in a nation. In understanding the success of nations women’s soccer teams, it is just as valuable to determine which factors do not have any impact as it is to find out which factors do have an impact.

 

Chappelow, Jim, editor. “Per Capita GDP.” Investopedia, 15 Apr. 2019, www.investopedia.com/terms/p/per-capita-gdp.asp. Accessed 19 Apr. 2019.

“The World Factbook: COUNTRY COMPARISON :: GDP – PER CAPITA (PPP).” Central Intelligence Agency,  www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/211rank.html. Accessed 19 Apr. 2019.

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