Social Image, Networks, and Protest Participation

55 Pages Posted: 24 May 2018

See all articles by Ruben Enikolopov

Ruben Enikolopov

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

Alexey Makarin

Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF)

Maria Petrova

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

Leonid Polishchuk

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Date Written: March 24, 2017

Abstract

Social motivation plays an important role in electoral participation, political contributions, and charitable donations. 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 to the peers. We test predictions of the model using individual and city-level data from 2011-2012 political protests in Russia. We report several findings. First, list experiment results imply that social signaling motives indeed were important for the decision to participate in protests. Second, consistent with the model, protest participation was declining over time. Third, participation in online protest groups increased offline protest participation. Fourth, participation in protests was higher in cities with higher social capital. Finally, the importance of both online social networks and offline social capital for protest participation diminished over time, consistent with predictions of the model.

Keywords: social pressure, political participation, protests, social image, online social media, new technologies

JEL Classification: D72, C31

Suggested Citation

Enikolopov, Ruben and Makarin, Alexey and Petrova, Maria and Polishchuk, Leonid, Social Image, Networks, and Protest Participation (March 24, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2940171 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2940171

Ruben Enikolopov

Institute of Political Economy and Governance ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Barcelona, 08005
Spain

New Economic School ( email )

Skolkovskoe shosse 45
Moscow, Skolkovo 143026
Russia

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

Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF)

Via Sallustiana, 62
Rome, Lazio 00187
Italy

Maria Petrova (Contact Author)

Institute for Political Economy and Governance, Barcelona ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Barcelona, 08005
Spain

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

Passeig Lluís Companys, 23
Barcelona, 08010
Spain

Universitat Pompeu Fabra ( email )

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

Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (Barcelona GSE) ( email )

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

New Economic School (NES) ( email )

100A Novaya Street
Moscow, Skolkovo 143026
Russia

Leonid Polishchuk

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017
Russia

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