3G Internet and Confidence in Government

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Sergei Guriev

Sciences Po; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Nikita Melnikov

Princeton University

Ekaterina Zhuravskaya

Paris School of Economics (PSE)

Date Written: June 30, 2019


How does the internet affect government approval? Using surveys of 840,537 individuals from 2,232 subnational regions in 116 countries in 2008-2017 from the Gallup World Poll and the global expansion of 3G networks, we show that an increase in internet access reduces government approval and increases the perception of corruption in government. This effect is present only when the internet is not censored and is stronger when traditional media is censored. Actual incidents of corruption translate into higher corruption perception only in places covered by 3G. In Europe, the expansion of mobile internet increased vote shares of anti-establishment populist parties.

Suggested Citation

Guriev, Sergei and Melnikov, Nikita and Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 3G Internet and Confidence in Government (June 30, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=

Sergei Guriev

Sciences Po ( email )

27 rue Saint-Guillaume
Paris Cedex 07, 75337

HOME PAGE: http://econ.sciences-po.fr/staff/sergei-guriev

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

United Kingdom

Nikita Melnikov

Princeton University ( email )

Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States

Ekaterina Zhuravskaya (Contact Author)

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014

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