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Protests and Reputation

  • Lucia Buenrostro


  • Amrita Dhillon


    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)

  • Myrna H. Wooders


    (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University)

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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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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  1. David Kreps & Robert Wilson, 1999. "Reputation and Imperfect Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 238, David K. Levine.
  2. Paul Milgrom & John Roberts, 1997. "Predation, reputation , and entry deterrence," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1460, David K. Levine.
  3. Besley, Timothy J. & Smart, Michael, 2002. "Does Tax Competition Raise Voter Welfare?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3131, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. 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.
  5. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2001. "A Theory of Political Transitions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 938-963, September.
  6. Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 1995. "Incumbent Behavior: Vote-Seeking, Tax-Setting, and Yardstick Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 25-45, March.
  7. repec:rus:hseeco:110836 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. 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.
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