Sebastian M. Saiegh
Department of Political Science, Social Sciences B
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|April 2008||National Cultures and Soccer Violence|
with Edward Miguel, Shanker Satyanath: w13968
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...