The culture and polity that is Singapore, Germany, and Belarus

Singapore leads the way, offering three-quarters of a million U.S. dollars to gold-medal winners, followed by Indonesia ($383,000), Azerbaijan ($255,000), Kazakhstan ($230,000) and Italy ($185,000).

I would say Italy should not be on that list, as they have some fiscal troubles, plus plenty of other sources of national pride.  And there is this:

…other countries offer alternative bait — like military exemptions (South Korea), a lifetime supply of beer (Germany) and unlimited sausages (Belarus).

Here is the article, via James Crabtree.


. . . the U.S. will likely dole out more bonuses than any other country . . .

Is this government money? I would object to that.

Read article. I object.

Korean gold-medal winners also get 1million Korean won (equivalent to $906) per month as a pension starting immediately after the end of Olympics until death.

That seems about right, seeing as they just won a gold medal.

Ah, good old Belarus, that last holdout for the old USSR.

The proud state of Pridnestrovie disagrees.

Unrecognized state, except by other unrecognized states of the former Soviet world. A post on the country's current economic woes would be interesting.

Coincidentally Singapore's first Gold Medal, Defeating Phelps is an achievement deserving 750K.

"a lifetime supply of beer (Germany)": if it were Belgian beer that would be a good deal.

Finding out new way to waste public money is , with football, the national sport in Italy.

In the US, our gold medal winners get...a bill from the IRS:

Gold medal winners are often rich. Why do you and Schumer (D) want to help the rich?

Its amazing how few (seemingly educated) Americans seem to understand how the tax system works. And on an economics blog of all places.

Saying they get a bill without mentioning they get 10-25k in prize money from some outside non-government organization seems a bit disingenuous. They do not get billed for winning gold. They get billed for their income just like every other individual does.

If only they would pour some of that money into their countries homeless/poverty situation!

The UK offers no bounty, and currently sits second in the medal table.

The evidence that these incentives actually incentivise is not compelling.

All countries are not equal. Specialization allows individuals in rich countries are to "swim" for a living even without subsidies from their government. Britain metal count proves nothing.

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