Building Nations Through Shared Experiences: Evidence from African Football
Emilio Depetris-Chauvin; Ruben Durante y Filipe Campante
American Economic Review, forthcoming
Abstract: We examine whether shared collective experiences help build a national identity, by looking at the impact of national football teams’ victories in sub-Saharan Africa. We find that individuals surveyed in the days after an important victory of their country’s national team are 37% less likely to identify primarily with their ethnic group, and 30% more likely to trust other ethnicities, than those interviewed just before. Crucially, national team achievements also reduce violence: countries that (barely) qualified to the Africa Cup of Nations experience less civil conflict (9% fewer episodes) in the following months than countries that (barely) did not.
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