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Protests and Reputation

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Author Info

  • Lucia Buenrostro

    ()

  • Amrita Dhillon

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)

  • Myrna H. Wooders

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University)

Abstract

Protests take place for a variety of reasons. In this paper we focus on protests that have a well defined objective, that is in conflict with the objectives of the government. Hence the success or failure of a protest movement depends crucially on how the government responds. We assume that government types are private information so that governments have an interest in building a reputation to deter protestors. We extend the standard reputation framework to one where potential protesters in the domestic jurisdiction are competing in a common market with protestors of a foreign jurisdiction, resulting in a situation where domestic governments care about the decisions of foreign governments. We derive conditions under which an equilibrium with "contagion" in protests might exist: protests that start in one jurisdiction spread to others. Finally we use our results to interpret the Fuel tax protests in France and England that took place in 2000 as well as the three successive pro-democracy revolutions in Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan in 2003-05.

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File URL: http://www.accessecon.com/pubs/VUECON/vu06-w15.pdf
File Function: First version, 2006
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Vanderbilt University Department of Economics in its series Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers with number 0615.

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Date of creation: Jul 2006
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Handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:0615

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Web page: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/econ/wparchive/index.html

Related research

Keywords: Protest; social movements; contagion; reputation equilibrium; Fuel tax protests; pro-democracy revolutions;

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References

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  1. Daron Acemoglu & James Robinson, 1999. "A Theory of Political Transitions," Working papers 99-26, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1992. "Incumbent Behavior: Vote Seeking, Tax Setting and Yardstick Competition," NBER Working Papers 4041, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1982. "Predation, reputation, and entry deterrence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 280-312, August.
  4. David Kreps & Robert Wilson, 1999. "Reputation and Imperfect Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 238, David K. Levine.
  5. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Why Did The West Extend The Franchise? Democracy, Inequality, And Growth In Historical Perspective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1167-1199, November.
  6. repec:rus:hseeco:110836 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Besley, Timothy J. & Smart, Michael, 2002. "Does Tax Competition Raise Voter Welfare?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3131, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. John P. Conley & Akram Temimi, 2001. "Endogenous Enfranchisement When Groups' Preferences Conflict," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(1), pages 79-102, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Roland Hodler & Dominic Rohner, 2012. "Electoral terms and terrorism," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 150(1), pages 181-193, January.

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