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NATIONAL CULTURES AND SOCCER VIOLENCE



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NBER WORKING PAPER SERIES NATIONAL CULTURES AND SOCCER VIOLENCE Edward Miguel Sebasti n M Saiegh Shanker Satyanath Working Paper 13968 http www nber org papers w13968 NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge MA 02138 March 2008 Corresponding author Edward Miguel 508 1 Evans Hall 3880 University of California Berkeley CA 94720 3880 We are grateful to Dan Altman Ray Fisman Matias Iaryczower David Laitin Dani Rodrik and a host of anonymous bloggers for useful comments and Dan Hartley Teferi Mergo and Melanie Wasserman for excellent research assistance All errors remain our own The views expressed herein are those of the author s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research 2008 by Edward Miguel Sebasti n M Saiegh and Shanker Satyanath All rights reserved Short sections of text not to exceed two paragraphs may be quoted without explicit permission provided that full credit including notice is given to the source National Cultures and Soccer Violence Edward Miguel Sebasti n M Saiegh and Shanker Satyanath NBER Working Paper No 13968 March 2008 JEL No K0 O57 Z1 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



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