Social Image, Networks, and Protest Participation

54 Pages Posted: 24 May 2018 Last revised: 6 May 2020

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); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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: April 26, 2020

Abstract

Social motivation plays a vital 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. We then test predictions of the model using individual and city-level data from 2011-2012 political protests in Russia. We report several findings, consistent with the theory. First, list experiment results from a specially conducted survey imply that social signaling motives indeed were important for the decision to participate in protests. Second, participation in online protest groups increased offline protest participation. Third, participation in protests was associated with higher social capital in a city. Finally, the importance of both online social networks and offline social capital for protest participation diminished over time.

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

JEL Classification: D72, C31

Suggested Citation

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

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

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

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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