World Series boon to St. Louis economy? Maybe not, economist says

While the St. Louis Regional Commerce and Growth Association claims the World Series will provide a $24.4 million economic boost to the area, a Washington University in St. Louis economist says it won’t change the area’s economic outlook as a whole.

“At the end of the day, whether that number is $10 million or $40 million, what’s the difference?” Steve Fazzari, PhD, professor of economics in Arts & Sciences, tells the St. Louis Beacon. “The dollar impact on the overall economy is just not significant enough to justify trying to tie down these numbers in detail.”

Fazzari compares the RCGA’s $25 million forecast with the 2.8 million people in the St. Louis region.

“That’s less than 10 bucks a person,” he says. “You’re not talking about something that will fundamentally change the area’s economic outlook as a whole.”

Compared with the debates over whether the Barack Obama administration’s stimulus package was worthwhile, in terms of its scope and its size, issues like the economic impact of a baseball series are pretty minor, Fazzari tells the publication.

That may be why no one has tried to take projections, then go back after the fact and see how accurate they were, Fazzari says.

“If you were talking about a serious economic stimulus,” Fazzari says, “maybe it would be worth the resources to do that kind of research. But the answer is that it’s not that big of a deal. It’s not worth it.”