Surf break discoveries create economic growth

14 March 2017

University of Sydney research reveals high quality surf breaks boost economic growth in nearby areas - and by how much.

Researchers analysed satellite images of night-time lights as a 'proxy' for economic growth. They found that a surfing community's discovery of a high-quality break can raise growth by 2.2 percentage points a year.

The study of more than 5000 surf break locations in 146 countries spans data between 1992 and 2013, with a concentration toward breaks in Australia and the United States.

"We conducted four sets of experiments, and they all confirm that good waves significantly increase growth, particularly after recent discoveries and during El NiƱo years," said Dr Sam Wills, of the University's School of Economics.

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