Using data conveniently available from the Peruvian, Ecuadorean, Bolivian, and Chilean Olympic trials, the study compared athletes who just made the Olympic team with those who just fell short. This rigorous regression discontinuity design allowed the study to identify the effect of Olympic participation on Olympic medals. The study found on average zero effect of Olympic participation on Olympic medals. This study found no evidence that the Olympics produces Olympic medals.
It is hoped that national sports federations will follow more evidence-based policies in the future regarding the Olympics.