Measuring Propensity of Individual Anti-Government Protest Behavior in Autocracies

33 Pages Posted: 24 Apr 2016

See all articles by Kirill Kalinin

Kirill Kalinin

Stanford University - The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace

Sasha de Vogel

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, College of Literature, Science & the Arts, Department of Political Science, Students

Date Written: April 1, 2016

Abstract

Although the measurement of individual propensity to participate in anti-government protests in autocracies is strategically consequential for both the government and the opposition, its prediction by scholars remains a challenging task. Individual responses about intention to participate in anti-government protests can be vastly polluted by measurement error, namely social desirability bias, preventing respondents from openly revealing their preferences. Amplifying this problem is the fact that individuals tend to condition their own participation in protests on the perceived magnitude. Our research attempts to bypass these problems by offering a set of list experiments adopted to the study of protests, preserving full anonymity for the respondent. The use of two experiments allows us to manipulate the size of the protests the respondents are exposed to. Together, these factors mitigate social desirability bias. A set of auxiliary follow-up questions helps us to measure the contributions an individual is willing to make when deciding to participate in the anti-government protest. The empirical data analysis is based on the data sample collected by VCIOM, a national polling agency in Russia, in Winter 2016.

Keywords: protests, list experiment, preference falsification, social desirability bias, Russia, contributions

JEL Classification: D74, C99

Suggested Citation

Kalinin, Kirill and de Vogel, Sasha, Measuring Propensity of Individual Anti-Government Protest Behavior in Autocracies (April 1, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2767663 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2767663

Kirill Kalinin (Contact Author)

Stanford University - The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305-6010
United States

Sasha De Vogel

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, College of Literature, Science & the Arts, Department of Political Science, Students ( email )

Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

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