IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpr/ceprdp/11254.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Social Media and Protest Participation: Evidence from Russia

Author

Listed:
  • Enikolopov, Ruben
  • Makarin, Alexey
  • Petrova, Maria

Abstract

Do new communication technologies, such as social media, reduce collective action problem? This paper provides evidence that penetration of VK, the dominant Russian online social network, affected protest activity during a wave of protests in Russia in 2011. As a source of exogenous variation in network penetration, we use information on the city of origin of the students who studied together with the founder of VK, controlling for the city of origin of the students who studied at the same university several years earlier or later. We find that a 10% increase in VK penetration increased the probability of a protest by 4.6%, and the number of protesters by 19%. Additional results suggest that social media has affected protest activity by reducing the costs of coordination, rather than by spreading information critical of the government. In particular, VK penetration increased pro-governmental support and reduced the number of people who were ready to participate in protests right before the protests took place. Also, cities with higher fractionalization of network users between VK and Facebook experienced fewer protests. Finally, we provide suggestive evidence that municipalities with higher VK penetration received smaller transfers from the central government after the occurrence of protests.

Suggested Citation

  • Enikolopov, Ruben & Makarin, Alexey & Petrova, Maria, 2016. "Social Media and Protest Participation: Evidence from Russia," CEPR Discussion Papers 11254, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:11254
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=11254
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ruben Enikolopov & Maria Petrova & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2011. "Media and Political Persuasion: Evidence from Russia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3253-3285, December.
    2. Oliver Falck & Robert Gold & Stephan Heblich, 2014. "E-lections: Voting Behavior and the Internet," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(7), pages 2238-2265, July.
    3. Marco Manacorda & Andrea Tesei, 2020. "Liberation Technology: Mobile Phones and Political Mobilization in Africa," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 88(2), pages 533-567, March.
    4. Lohmann, Susanne, 1993. "A Signaling Model of Informative and Manipulative Political Action," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 87(2), pages 319-333, June.
    5. Stefano Della Vigna & Ruben Enikolopov & Vera Mironova & Maria Petrova & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2014. "Cross-Border Media and Nationalism: Evidence from Serbian Radio in Croatia," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 103-132, July.
    6. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 151-184, February.
    7. Leonardo Bursztyn & Georgy Egorov & Ruben Enikolopov & Maria Petrova, 2019. "Social Media and Xenophobia: Evidence from Russia," NBER Working Papers 26567, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Davide Cantoni & Noam Yuchtman, 2014. "Medieval Universities, Legal Institutions, and the Commercial Revolution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(2), pages 823-887.
    9. Manudeep Bhuller & Tarjei Havnes & Edwin Leuven & Magne Mogstad, 2013. "Broadband Internet: An Information Superhighway to Sex Crime?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(4), pages 1237-1266.
    10. Stefano DellaVigna & Ethan Kaplan, 2007. "The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1187-1234.
    11. Michael D. König & Dominic Rohner & Mathias Thoenig & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2017. "Networks in Conflict: Theory and Evidence From the Great War of Africa," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 85, pages 1093-1132, July.
    12. Jeremiah E. Dittmar, 2011. "Information Technology and Economic Change: The Impact of The Printing Press," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1133-1172.
    13. Chernozhukov, Victor & Hansen, Christian, 2008. "The reduced form: A simple approach to inference with weak instruments," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 68-71, July.
    14. Toke S. Aidt & Raphaël Franck, 2015. "Democratization Under the Threat of Revolution: Evidence From the Great Reform Act of 1832," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 83, pages 505-547, March.
    15. Maja Adena & Ruben Enikolopov & Maria Petrova & Veronica Santarosa & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2015. "Radio and the Rise of The Nazis in Prewar Germany," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(4), pages 1885-1939.
    16. Thomas Eisensee & David Strömberg, 2007. "News Droughts, News Floods, and U. S. Disaster Relief," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 693-728.
    17. David Yanagizawa-Drott, 2014. "Propaganda and Conflict: Evidence from the Rwandan Genocide," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(4), pages 1947-1994.
    18. Anna Mikusheva & Brian P. Poi, 2006. "Tests and confidence sets with correct size when instruments are potentially weak," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 6(3), pages 335-347, September.
    19. Chun-Fang Chiang & Brian Knight, 2011. "Media Bias and Influence: Evidence from Newspaper Endorsements," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(3), pages 795-820.
    20. Francesco Passarelli & Guido Tabellini, 2017. "Emotions and Political Unrest," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 125(3), pages 903-946.
    21. Halberstam, Yosh & Knight, Brian, 2016. "Homophily, group size, and the diffusion of political information in social networks: Evidence from Twitter," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 73-88.
    22. Andreas Madestam & Daniel Shoag & Stan Veuger & David Yanagizawa-Drott, 2013. "Do Political Protests Matter? Evidence from the Tea Party Movement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(4), pages 1633-1685.
    23. James M. Snyder & David Strömberg, 2010. "Press Coverage and Political Accountability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(2), pages 355-408, April.
    24. Matthew Gentzkow & Nathan Petek & Jesse M. Shapiro & Michael Sinkinson, 2015. "Do Newspapers Serve The State? Incumbent Party Influence On The Us Press, 1869–1928," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(1), pages 29-61, February.
    25. David Yanagizawa-Drott, 2012. "Propaganda and Conflict: Theory and Evidence from the Rwandan Genocide," CID Working Papers 257, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    26. Nina Czernich & Oliver Falck & Tobias Kretschmer & Ludger Woessmann, 2011. "Broadband Infrastructure and Economic Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(552), pages 505-532, May.
    27. David Strömberg, 2004. "Radio's Impact on Public Spending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 189-221.
    28. Bei Qin & David Strömberg & Yanhui Wu, 2017. "Why Does China Allow Freer Social Media? Protests versus Surveillance and Propaganda," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(1), pages 117-140, Winter.
    29. Maja Adena & Ruben Enikolopov & Maria Petrova & Veronica Santarosa & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2015. "Radio and the Rise of The Nazis in Prewar Germany," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(4), pages 1885-1939.
    30. José Luis Montiel Olea & Carolin Pflueger, 2013. "A Robust Test for Weak Instruments," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(3), pages 358-369, July.
    31. Davide Cantoni & David Y Yang & Noam Yuchtman & Y Jane Zhang, 2019. "Protests as Strategic Games: Experimental Evidence from Hong Kong's Antiauthoritarian Movement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 134(2), pages 1021-1077.
    32. Reuter, Ora John & Szakonyi, David, 2015. "Online Social Media and Political Awareness in Authoritarian Regimes," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 45(1), pages 29-51, January.
    33. Chris Edmond, 2013. "Information Manipulation, Coordination, and Regime Change," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(4), pages 1422-1458.
    34. Maja Adena & Ruben Enikolopov & Maria Petrova & Veronica Santarosa & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2015. "Radio and the Rise of The Nazis in Prewar Germany," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(4), pages 1885-1939.
    35. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2011. "Ideological Segregation Online and Offline," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1799-1839.
    36. King, Gary & Pan, Jennifer & Roberts, Margaret E., 2013. "How Censorship in China Allows Government Criticism but Silences Collective Expression," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 326-343, May.
    37. Robertson, Graeme, 2017. "Political Orientation, Information and Perceptions of Election Fraud: Evidence from Russia," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(3), pages 589-608, July.
    38. Igal Hendel & Saul Lach & Yossi Spiegel, 2017. "Consumers' activism: the cottage cheese boycott," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 48(4), pages 972-1003, December.
    39. Robert Jensen, 2007. "The Digital Provide: Information (Technology), Market Performance, and Welfare in the South Indian Fisheries Sector," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 879-924.
    40. Hendel, Igal E & Lach, Saul & Spiegel, Yossi, 2015. "Consumers' Activism: the Facebook boycott of Cottage Cheese," CEPR Discussion Papers 10460, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    41. Ruben Enikolopov & Alexey Makarin & Maria Petrova, 2020. "Social Media and Protest Participation: Evidence From Russia," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 88(4), pages 1479-1514, July.
    42. Marco Battaglini, 2017. "Public Protests and Policy Making," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(1), pages 485-549.
    43. Robert M. Bond & Christopher J. Fariss & Jason J. Jones & Adam D. I. Kramer & Cameron Marlow & Jaime E. Settle & James H. Fowler, 2012. "A 61-million-person experiment in social influence and political mobilization," Nature, Nature, vol. 489(7415), pages 295-298, September.
    44. De Mesquita, Ethan Bueno, 2010. "Regime Change and Revolutionary Entrepreneurs," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 104(3), pages 446-466, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Ruben Enikolopov & Maria Petrova & Konstantin Sonin, 2018. "Social Media and Corruption," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 150-174, January.
    2. Marco Manacorda & Andrea Tesei, 2020. "Liberation Technology: Mobile Phones and Political Mobilization in Africa," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 88(2), pages 533-567, March.
    3. González, Felipe, 2020. "Collective action in networks: Evidence from the Chilean student movement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 188(C).
    4. Miner, Luke, 2015. "The unintended consequences of internet diffusion: Evidence from Malaysia," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 66-78.
    5. Maria Petrova & Ananya Sen & Pinar Yildirim, 2020. "Social Media and Political Contributions: The Impact of New Technology on Political Competition," Papers 2011.02924, arXiv.org.
    6. Jetter, Michael, 2017. "Terrorism and the Media: The Effect of US Television Coverage on Al-Qaeda Attacks," IZA Discussion Papers 10708, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Garz, Marcel & Sörensen, Jil, 2017. "Politicians under investigation: The news Media's effect on the likelihood of resignation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 82-91.
    8. Piolatto, Amedeo & Schuett, Florian, 2015. "Media competition and electoral politics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 80-93.
    9. Thomas Fujiwara & Karsten Müller & Carlo Schwarz, 2021. "The Effect of Social Media on Elections: Evidence from the United States," Working Papers 2021-53, Princeton University. Economics Department..
    10. Brian Knight & Ana Tribin, 2019. "The Limits of Propaganda: Evidence from Chavez’s Venezuela," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 17(2), pages 567-605.
    11. Petrova, Maria & Sen, Ananya & Yildirim, Pinar, 2017. "Social Media and Political Donations: New Technology and Incumbency Advantage in the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 11808, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Ekaterina Zhuravskaya & Maria Petrova & Ruben Enikolopov, 2020. "Political Effects of the Internet and Social Media," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 12(1), pages 415-438, August.
    13. David Strömberg, 2015. "Media and Politics," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 7(1), pages 173-205, August.
    14. Michael Jetter, 2017. "Mediated Terrorism: US News and Al-Qaeda Attacks," CESifo Working Paper Series 6804, CESifo.
    15. Jetter, Michael, 2019. "The inadvertent consequences of al-Qaeda news coverage," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 391-410.
    16. Di Tella, Rafael & Galiani, Sebastian & Schargrodsky, Ernesto, 2021. "Persuasive propaganda during the 2015 Argentine Ballotage," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 885-900.
    17. Junze Sun & Arthur Schram & Randolph Sloof, 2019. "A Theory on Media Bias and Elections," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 19-048/I, Tinbergen Institute.
    18. Brian Knight & Ana Tribin, 2019. "Opposition Media, State Censorship, and Political Accountability: Evidence from Chavez's Venezuela," NBER Working Papers 25916, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Ou, Susan & Xiong, Heyu, 2021. "Mass persuasion and the ideological origins of the Chinese Cultural Revolution," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 153(C).
    20. Philine Widmer & Sergio Galletta & Elliott Ash, 2022. "Media Slant is Contagious," Papers 2202.07269, arXiv.org.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    collective action; impact of technology adoption; political protests; social media;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • H0 - Public Economics - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:11254. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://www.cepr.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://www.cepr.org .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.