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The Power of the Street: Evidence from Egypt’s Arab Spring

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  • Daron Acemoglu
  • Tarek A. Hassan
  • Ahmed Tahoun

Abstract

Unprecedented street protests brought down Mubarak’s government and ushered in an era of competition between three rival political groups in Egypt. Using daily variation in the number of protesters, we document that more intense protests are associated with lower stock market valuations for firms connected to the group currently in power relative to non-connected firms, but have no impact on the relative valuations of firms connected to rival groups. These results suggest that street protests serve as a partial check on political rent-seeking. General discontent expressed on Twitter predicts protests but has no direct effect on valuations. Received February 12, 2016; editorial decision April 5, 2017 by Editor Andrew Karolyi.

Suggested Citation

  • Daron Acemoglu & Tarek A. Hassan & Ahmed Tahoun, 2018. "The Power of the Street: Evidence from Egypt’s Arab Spring," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 31(1), pages 1-42.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:31:y:2018:i:1:p:1-42.
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    JEL classification:

    • E02 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Institutions and the Macroeconomy
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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