While Mo Salah had little impact on the football pitch yesterday, it appears he might be doing much more off the pitch. Recent work by Ala’ Alrababa’h, William Marble, Salma Mousa and Alexandra Siegel in the American Political Science Review attempts to measure that exposure to celebrities from stigmatized groups can reduce prejudice across wider society.
Using the case of the famous Liverpool forward - Mohamed Salah - the authors examine reported crime rates in the UK and 15 million tweets from football fans living in the UK. The authors find a particularly important effect in the Liverpool area, with hate crimes dropping "by 16% compared with a synthetic control" and supporters of Liverpool halving "their rates of posting anti-Muslim tweets relative to fans of other top-flight clubs".
The figures to the right are Synthetic Control Results for Hate Crimes Analysis
According to the authors "The top panel shows the observed (solid line) and imputed (dashed line) monthly hate crime rates in Merseyside. The bottom panel shows the difference between the observed and imputed outcomes. In the posttreatment period, this is the estimate of the treatment effect. The black line shows the estimates obtained for Merseyside, and the gray lines show the estimates obtained when we treat each of the control units as if it were treated. The fact that the Merseyside estimates are consistently lower than the control group estimates provides evidence that our treatment effect estimates are unlikely to be due to chance."
The full paper is available online and can be found here.