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First published online July 18, 2013

Cultural Differences, Assimilation, and Behavior: Player Nationality and Penalties in Football


We examine the impact of a different cultural background on individual behavior, focusing on penalties in football matches of southern European and northern European football players in the English Premier League. Southern European football players collect on average more football penalties than their British colleagues, and northern European football players collect on average less football penalties than their British colleagues. The number of football penalties incurred by southern European players is initially higher but converges toward the local average the longer their experience in the English Premier League.

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Giacomo De Luca is a Lecturer of Economics at the University of York and a Senior Economist at LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven). He received his PhD from the University of Namur. His research addresses subjects in Political Economy, Development Economics and Conflicts.
Jeroen Schokkaert is a PhD student at LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven). His main research interests are economic aspects of sports and migration.
Johan Swinnen currently is Professor of Economics and Director of LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven). His research focuses on institutions and development, transition, political economy, globalization and trade.

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Published In

Article first published online: July 18, 2013
Issue published: June 2015


  1. football penalties
  2. cultural differences
  3. assimilation
  4. migration

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Published online: July 18, 2013
Issue published: June 2015



Giacomo De Luca
DERS, University of York, York, United Kingdom
LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Leuven, Belgium
Jeroen Schokkaert
LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Leuven, Belgium
Johan Swinnen
LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Leuven, Belgium


Jeroen Schokkaert, LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Waaistraat 6, Leuven, Belgium. Email: [email protected]

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