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Social Media and Xenophobia: Evidence from Russia

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  • Bursztyn, Leonardo
  • Egorov, Georgy
  • Enikolopov, Ruben
  • Petrova, Maria

Abstract

We study the causal effect of social media on ethnic hate crimes and xenophobic attitudes in Rus- sia and the mechanisms underlying this effect, using quasi-exogenous variation in social media penetration across cities. Higher penetration of social media led to more hate crimes in cities with a high pre-existing level of nationalist sentiment. Consistent with a mechanism of coordination of crimes, the effects are stronger for crimes with multiple perpetrators. Using a national survey experiment, we also find evidence of a mechanism of persuasion: social media led individuals (especially young, male, and less-educated ones) to hold more xenophobic attitudes.

Suggested Citation

  • Bursztyn, Leonardo & Egorov, Georgy & Enikolopov, Ruben & Petrova, Maria, 2020. "Social Media and Xenophobia: Evidence from Russia," CEPR Discussion Papers 14877, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:14877
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Hate crime; Russia; social media; Xenophobia;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • H0 - Public Economics - - General
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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