IZA DP No. 2275: Seemingly Irrelevant Events Affect Economic Perceptions and Expectations: The FIFA World Cup 2006 as a Natural Experiment
Prominent economic theories have emphasized the role of commonly held perceptions and expectations for determining macroeconomic outcomes. A key empirical question is how such collectively held beliefs are formed. We use the FIFA World Cup 2006 as a natural experiment. We provide direct evidence that seemingly irrelevant events (the outcomes of soccer matches) can systematically affect individual perceptions about economic prospects, both on a personal and economy-wide level.