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National Cultures and Soccer Violence

Edward Miguel, Sebastián M. Saiegh and Shanker Satyanath

No 13968, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: Can some acts of violence be explained by a society's "culture"? Scholars have found it hard to empirically disentangle the effects of culture, legal institutions, and poverty in driving violence. We address this problem by exploiting a natural experiment offered by the presence of thousands of international soccer (football) players in the European professional leagues. We find a strong relationship between the history of civil conflict in a player's home country and his propensity to behave violently on the soccer field, as measured by yellow and red cards. This link is robust to region fixed effects, country characteristics (e.g., rule of law, per capita income), player characteristics (e.g., age, field position, quality), outliers, and team fixed effects. Reinforcing our claim that we isolate cultures of violence rather than simple rule-breaking or something else entirely, there is no meaningful correlation between a player's home country civil war history and soccer performance measures not closely related to violent conduct.

JEL-codes: K0 O57 Z1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2008-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-afr, nep-law, nep-soc and nep-spo
Note: EFG LE POL
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (39)

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