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It is important for students to understand that economic activities have more than just financial costs and benefits. There are also political, social, and ecological consequences – both positive and negative – and these impacts are rarely spread equally.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup (including the construction work required for it) provides a clear example of economic activity that has taken place despite the financial costs to the Qatari state being an order of magnitude larger than the financial benefits it will receive. Whilst this is a fairly extreme case in terms of how many different costs and benefits are involved and how unequally they have been spread, many economic decisions are more complicated than mere financial calculations and it is therefore vital for students to be able to think about multiple dimensions involved in economic decisions.
This teaching material was designed by Economy Studies and is part of the "This Month in the Economy Exercises" series.