Information Networks and Collective Action: Evidence from the Women’s Temperance Crusade

94 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2021

See all articles by Camilo Garcia-Jimeno

Camilo Garcia-Jimeno

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics

Angel Diaz

University of Pennsylvania

Pinar Yildirim

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

Date Written: August 13, 2021

Abstract

How do social interactions shape collective action, and how are they mediated by networked
information technologies? We answer these questions studying the Temperance Crusade, a wave of anti-liquor protest activity spreading across 29 states between 1873-1874. Relying on exogenous variation in network links generated by railroad accidents, we provide causal evidence of social interactions driving the diffusion of the movement, mediated by rail and telegraph information about neighboring activity. Local newspaper coverage of the Crusade was a key channel mediating these effects. Using an event-study methodology, we find strong complementarities between rail and telegraph networks in driving the movement’s spread.

Keywords: Social interactions, collective action, networks, railroads, telegraph, Temperance Crusade

JEL Classification: D71, D83, D85, N11, N31, N71, N91, O18, R40, Z12

Suggested Citation

Garcia-Jimeno, Camilo and Diaz, Angel and Yildirim, Pinar, Information Networks and Collective Action: Evidence from the Women’s Temperance Crusade (August 13, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3904936 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3904936

Camilo Garcia-Jimeno

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics ( email )

Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science
133 South 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6297
United States

Angel Diaz

University of Pennsylvania

Pinar Yildirim (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

3641 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

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