Social Image, Networks, and Protest Participation

59 Pages Posted: 24 May 2018 Last revised: 18 Jan 2023

See all articles by Ruben Enikolopov

Ruben Enikolopov

New Economic School; Institute of Political Economy and Governance; ICREA; Universitat Pompeu Fabra; Barcelona GSE

Alexey Makarin

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management; Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Maria Petrova

Institute for Political Economy and Governance, Barcelona; Universitat Pompeu Fabra; Barcelona School of Economics; Catalan Institution of Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA)

Leonid Polishchuk

National Research University Higher School of Economics (Moscow)

Date Written: April 26, 2020

Abstract

Social motivation plays a vital role in electoral participation and other forms of civic engagement. We examine the role of social image concerns in the decision to participate in political protests. We develop a dynamic model of protest participation, where socially-minded individuals use protest participation to signal their type. We then test predictions of the model using individual and city-level data from 2011-2012 political protests in Russia. List experiment results from a specially conducted survey imply that social signaling motives indeed were important for the decision to participate in protests, which makes the theory applicable. We report several findings, consistent with the theory. First, protest participation declined over time. Second, participation in online protest groups increased offline protest participation. Finally, the importance of both online social networks and offline social capital evolves over time in a manner predicted by the theory.

Keywords: social image, political participation, protests, social media

JEL Classification: D72, C31

Suggested Citation

Enikolopov, Ruben and Enikolopov, Ruben and Makarin, Alexey and Petrova, Maria and Polishchuk, Leonid, Social Image, Networks, and Protest Participation (April 26, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2940171 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2940171

Ruben Enikolopov

New Economic School ( email )

Nobel 3
Moscow, Moscow 121205
Russia

Institute of Political Economy and Governance ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Barcelona, 08005
Spain

ICREA ( email )

Passeig Lluís Companys, 23
Barcelona, 08010
Spain

Universitat Pompeu Fabra ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Barcelona, E-08005
Spain

Barcelona GSE ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Barcelona, Barcelona 08005
Spain

Alexey Makarin

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

100 Main Street
E62-416
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://alexeymakarin.github.io/

Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF)

Via Sallustiana, 62
Rome, Lazio 00187
Italy

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Maria Petrova (Contact Author)

Institute for Political Economy and Governance, Barcelona ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Barcelona, 08005
Spain

Universitat Pompeu Fabra ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Barcelona, E-08005
Spain

Barcelona School of Economics ( email )

Carrer de Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Barcelona, 08005
Spain

Catalan Institution of Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA) ( email )

Passeig Lluís Companys, 23
Barcelona, 08010
Spain

Leonid Polishchuk

National Research University Higher School of Economics (Moscow) ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017
Russia

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