The Effects of Hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games on COVID-19 in Tokyo: Ex-Ante Analyses

Author : Asako Chiba, Daisuke Fujii, Yuta Maeda, Masataka Mori, Kenichi Nagasawa, Taisuke Nakata, Wataru Okamoto


We present a series of quantitative analyses conducted from mid-May of 2021 to mid-June of 2021 that examined the effects of hosting the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games on the spread of COVID-19 in Tokyo. Our ex-ante quantitative analyses pointed out that (i) the direct effects on the spread of COVID-19 of welcoming Games-related foreign visitors to Japan or allowing spectators in competition venues would be either limited or manageable, but (ii) a festive mood generated by the Games could greatly contribute to the spread of COVID-19 if it led to a decline in people’s willingness to take preventive actions against infection. Ex-post, the key results of our ex-ante analyses are broadly in line with available circumstantial evidence as well as ex-post consensus by public-health experts on how the Games affected the spread of COVID-19 in Tokyo.