NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Cross-border media and nationalism: Evidence from Serbian radio in Croatia

Stefano DellaVigna, Ruben Enikolopov, Vera Mironova, Maria Petrova, Ekaterina Zhuravskaya

NBER Working Paper No. 16989
Issued in May 2011
NBER Program(s):   LS   PE   POL

How do nationalistic media affect animosity between ethnic groups? We consider one of Europe’s deadliest conflicts since WWII: the Serbo-Croatian conflict. We show that, after a decade of peace, cross-border nationalistic Serbian radio triggers ethnic hatred towards Serbs in Croatia. Mostly attracted by non-political content, many Croats listen to Serbian public radio (intended for Serbs in Serbia) whenever signal is available. As a result, the vote for extreme nationalist parties is higher, and ethnically offensive graffiti are more common, in Croatian villages with Serbian radio reception. A laboratory experiment confirms that Serbian radio exposure causes anti-Serbian sentiment among Croats.

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This paper was revised on August 19, 2013

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