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

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  • Della Vigna, Stefano
  • Enikolopov, Ruben
  • Mironova, Vera
  • Petrova, Maria
  • Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina

Abstract

Which factors stand in the way of cooperation between countries formerly at war? We examine the role of nationalistic content of a media outlet reaching citizens of a neighboring country. We consider radio signals travelling across borders in the region that witnessed one of Europe’s deadliest conflicts since WWII: the Serbo-Croatian conflict in the Yugoslavian wars. Using survey and election data, we show that, after a decade since the end of the war, cross-border nationalistic Serbian radio triggers animosity towards Serbs in Croatia, potentially endangering peace. In particular, we find that a large fraction of Croats listen to Serbian radio (intended for Serbian listeners across the border) whenever signal is available. The residents of Croatian villages with good-quality signal of Serbian public radio are more likely to vote for extreme nationalist parties. In addition, ethnically offensive graffiti are more common in villages with Serbian radio reception. A laboratory experiment confirms that Serbian radio exposure causes an increase in anti-Serbian sentiment among Croats.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9042.

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Date of creation: Jul 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9042

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Keywords: media; nationalism;

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Cited by:
  1. Rohner, Dominic & Thoenig, Mathias & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2012. "Seeds of Distrust: Conflict in Uganda," CEPR Discussion Papers 8741, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Farré, Lídia & Fasani, Francesco, 2011. "Media Exposure and Internal Migration: Evidence from Indonesia," IZA Discussion Papers 6012, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Andrea Tesei & Paolo Pinotti & Ruben Durante, 2013. "Voting Alone? The Political and Cultural Consequences of Commercial TV," Sciences Po publications 2013-10, Sciences Po.
  4. Maja Adena & Ruben Enikolopov & Maria Petrova & Veronica Santarosa & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2013. "Radio and the Rise of the Nazis in Prewar Germany," PSE Working Papers halshs-00858992, HAL.
  5. Daron Acemoglu & Alexander Wolitzky, 2012. "Cycles of Distrust: An Economic Model," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000502, David K. Levine.
  6. Bursztyn, Leonardo & Cantoni, Davide, 2012. "A Tear in the Iron Curtain: The Impact of Western Television on Consumption Behavior," CEPR Discussion Papers 9101, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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