Social Media and Xenophobia: Evidence from Russia

72 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2020

See all articles by Leonardo Bursztyn

Leonardo Bursztyn

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson School of Management

Georgy Egorov

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management; NBER

Ruben Enikolopov

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

Maria Petrova

Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (Barcelona GSE)

Date Written: June 2020

Abstract

We study the causal effect of social media on ethnic hate crimes and xenophobic attitudes in Rus- sia and the mechanisms underlying this effect, using quasi-exogenous variation in social media penetration across cities. Higher penetration of social media led to more hate crimes in cities with a high pre-existing level of nationalist sentiment. Consistent with a mechanism of coordination of crimes, the effects are stronger for crimes with multiple perpetrators. Using a national survey experiment, we also find evidence of a mechanism of persuasion: social media led individuals (especially young, male, and less-educated ones) to hold more xenophobic attitudes.

Keywords: Hate crime, Russia, social media, Xenophobia

JEL Classification: D7, H0, J15

Suggested Citation

Bursztyn, Leonardo and Egorov, Georgy and Enikolopov, Ruben and Enikolopov, Ruben and Petrova, Maria, Social Media and Xenophobia: Evidence from Russia (June 2020). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP14877, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3628198

Leonardo Bursztyn (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson School of Management ( email )

110 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1481
United States

Georgy Egorov

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

NBER ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Ruben Enikolopov

New Economic School ( email )

Skolkovskoe shosse 45
Moscow, Skolkovo 143026
Russia

Institute of Political Economy and Governance ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Barcelona, 08005
Spain

ICREA ( email )

Passeig LluĂ­s 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

Maria Petrova

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

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

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