National Pride: War Minus the Shooting

Abstract

This study focuses on the determinants of self-reported measures of national pride. Using pooled cross-sectional data for European countries obtained from the Eurobarometer, it is estimated that pride is not correlated with GDP per capita nor with household income levels. Using the 2000 UEFA European Championship as a natural experiment, it is estimated that individuals from both host and winning nations report, on average, higher levels of national pride in the period immediately following the event, supporting theoretical arguments of a “feel-good” factor associated with sports events. Accounting for performance relative to expectations produces results along the same lines.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Note that although life satisfaction and happiness are separable constructs, previous research in the economics literature treats them as variants of the same notion and uses them interchangeably (Frey and Stutzer 2002; Di Tella et al. 2003; Blanchflower and Oswald 2004; Easterlin 2005, 2006; Di Tella and MacCulloch 2006).

  2. 2.

    For a recent overview see Frey and Stutzer (2002).

  3. 3.

    “Don’t know” answers are not studied here.

  4. 4.

    In fact, the Eurobarometer surveys ceased asking questions regarding the income status of individuals and their household as of 2004.

  5. 5.

    The life satisfaction question is: “On the whole, are you very satisfied, fairly satisfied, not very satisfied or not at all satisfied with the life you lead?”. Note that over the pooled sample the correlation coefficient between national pride and life satisfaction is 0.14, implying that the two scales measure different, though positively related, aspects. Arguably, life satisfaction provides a more general picture of subjective well-being, whereas national pride measures a specific emotion within the former (Oishi et al. 2003).

  6. 6.

    Where note that in the post-event surveys the correlation between pride and life satisfaction for participating nations is equal to 0.215.

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Acknowledgments

I would like to thank Nick Powdthavee, Stefan Szymanski, the editor and an anonymous referee for valuable comments and suggestions in previous versions of this study.

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Correspondence to Georgios Kavetsos.

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Kavetsos, G. National Pride: War Minus the Shooting. Soc Indic Res 106, 173–185 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-011-9801-1

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Keywords

  • National pride
  • Life satisfaction
  • Well-being
  • Sports events
  • Soccer